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Kites, Camera, Action! Argaty wildlife CCTV launched.

Red kites on CCTV at Argaty Red Kites: Credit Ewan Weston

Red kites on CCTV at Argaty Red Kites: Credit Ewan Weston

Over the last few months, staff at Argaty Red Kites and a team from the Forestry Commission Radio & Electronics Branch have been laying cables and sorting transmitters and receivers for their brand new red kite nest CCTV.

With the help of expert tree climbers, the camera was finally installed into its final position at a secret location next to an existing nest. In the coming months, it will be bringing you ‘up close and personal’ with a family of red kites.

The nest-cam should produce fascinating and intimate footage of these stunning birds. CCTV technology will beam live video to the Argaty Red Kite visitor centre, allowing visitors an opportunity to witness the day-to-day life of a red kite family, from the incubation and hatching of the eggs, to the development of the chicks into young adults.

Bill Irvine, Operations Support Manager of the Forestry Commission Radio & Electronics Branch said: “We install lots of wildlife CCTV systems throughout the UK, but this is only the second time we’ve installed a camera on a Scottish red kite nest. We are thrilled to have been involved and really hope people enjoy the results!”

Mike McDonnell, Head Ranger from Argaty Red Kites said: “We are extremely excited that our new wildlife CCTV venture is now fully up and running. We can’t wait for the red kite story to unfold and we hope our visitors enjoy this unique experience. Many thanks to all those that have helped make this possible!!”

He added: “In addition to our kites, we also have a camera installed on a buzzard nest, together with an array of smaller birds, such as swallows……who needs Springwatch?”

With the help of the RSPB, part of the funding for this new development at Argaty was secured from The Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust. The Trust funds projects that benefit the local environment and the general public through landfill community fund credits which are raised through the land-filling of municipal waste from both Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils.

Audrey Morrison, Development Officer (Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust) said: “We are more than happy to contribute towards this exciting project that helps promote local biodiversity and public education. Red Kites are such an iconic species and having a site where they can be watched going about their normal activities so closely is a very important local resource.”

Yvonne Boles, Conservation Officer for RSPB Scotland said: “The pictures are fantastic! This is going to be a brilliant extra feature for Argaty and will furthermore provide an additional tool for promoting the red kite population in Central Scotland.”

Once the chicks have fledged from the nest, the camera will be moved to the feeding station. ‘Dive-cam’ will get incredible footage and capture the breathtaking aerial piracy of wild red kites as they dive bomb for their winter food.

Live CCTV images are beamed daily (10am – 5.00pm) to the Argaty Red Kites Visitor Centre, were toilets and hot drinks are available (but no café). The hide is staffed only to coincide with feeding time, but the hide, visitor centre and toilets are open all day.

For more information and times, please call 01786 841373 or www.argatyredkites.co.uk.

 

 

 

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