Kites nest in the spring time, that much I do know. What I don't know is why a kite would be carrying a nice big stick in late September.
I was out checking up on the kites last week and went to a spot where a local gamekeeper told me he had seen kites on a few occasions. As it was a lovely sunny day I set up my scope and decided to wait for some kites to arrive. My radio receiver was picking up a few signals, but I couldn't see any birds. One bird "Black W" was worrying me a little as for the last few weeks the signal constantly indicated the bird was perched and I hadn't had any visuals on it. Eventually the kites decided to show themselves and two of them were soaring out in front of me. I was more than a little relieved when I managed to read the "W" on the tag of the young kite.
As I watched the kites for a bit, a third kite arrived. Its bright red tail instantly identified it as a 2007 bird and I was keen to try and read it's tag to get an ID on the bird. Unfortunately it was too far off and never came close to me. It disappeared out of view and next when it appeared it had a fine big stick in it's talons. It soared around for a little bit carrying it's stick in plain view of the younger birds, then it disappeared in the direction of the nearest forest.
Obviously when you see a bird carrying a stick you think of nest building, but kite nest building happens in early spring. So what was the kite up to? Perhaps it was advertising it's territory to the younger kites, perhaps it was merely playing (kites are known to do this with sticks and leaves) or perhaps it actually was getting a head start on it's nest. Only time will tell.