I had hoped to see at least one red kite and I was not disappointed! We spied many red kites on the drive to Watlington and upon arrival at the car park 4 were circling overhead! A great opportunity to get the binoculars out and get a closer look at these beautiful birds.
I eventually managed to tear myself away and we begun the ride, straight away we were onto the first of five climbs of the day. The first hill of the day is always a struggle and today was no exception but once we reached Christmas Common we began the main loop and the countryside opened up and we could really appreciate the views.
We saw red kites all around the route, it was amazing to see such a healthy population of a bird whose numbers had been reduced to a handful of pairs at the start of the 20th century. A real conservation success story!
Around the halfway point we came across a nice pub, The Prince Albert, and had a pit stop. Mugs of tea whilst we enjoyed watching more red kites circling over nearby fields.
This was a wonderful ride and I hope that we will be able to further explore the Chilterns soon!
It's probably best to leave your super fast race tyres at home for this - some of the roads are a bit agricultural so you are best off using a more robust piece item.
There are plenty of different routes to choose from, if you want to plan your own route here is a compilation of a load of sportive routes I found: