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Master thermaller


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I was out with my Elf yesterday, finding nothing but short lived bubbles, or more likely just turbulence. Noticed a buzzard landing on a tree about 100 metres away. He sat watching me for about 5 minutes, then flew across the field a bit, did 2 low down circles gaining about 5 metres each circle. He then flew off to another nearby tree.

A good throw got me to where he had been, went up a bit, but just could not centre the lift. Had another go with similar results.

At this point the buzzard flew off about 50 metres, did a couple of lazy circles gaining each time, then shot off.

I think I just failed my thermalling exam !!


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Yesterday was certainly an Elf day.  I've been sneaking mine to the park with the nipper but always had too much breeze.          Flying with the buzzards is always a privilege I think. 

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Hi all

I think Red Kites have quite a good sense of humour.........

When chatting (between flights) at Ivinghoe several conversations have pointed to the possibility of our local Red Kites having a "Fun Mode"

Several flyers have had Red Kites formate on them when flying the West Face, some have told of a Kite at each wingtip!

Fun loving they may be but they soon tire of following, and fold their wings and dive away when they've had enough

Personally, the only example I have experienced was a pair of kites thermalling, stiff-winged that I joined to steal a bit of their lift.....they moved away about 50 yards and continued circling and, when I moved over to join them again, they stayed where they were.......suddenly I realised they were circling in SINK and, as I moved back to where they'd come from to regain height, they started aerobatting and playing tag with each other - as if to say "stick to walking matey, it's what you're good at!" - a sort of Eric and Ernie of the slope.........

Anyone else experienced anything like this?




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Yep. for many years now we have had a few Red Kites atthe Mynd and they are all playfull.

I have had them mimic my flying and follow me in low passes just a few feet from where I'm standing, but never have they been aggressive, they just want to play.

Buzzards however just look the other way and seem to have no interest. They do play with each other tumbling etc during mating season but generally they ar epretty dull.


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The young buzzards at Bartletts Farm follow the thermal soarers and seem to be trying to learn from us. It is not long before they are showing us where the lift is though.

The buzzards have not been at Bartletts for as long as we have been using the site - there was a power club based at the site before we of the Essex Quiet Flight Association took it over in the late nineties.

The buzzards (re)colonised the site in the last ten years. 

We sometimes get Red Kites visit us on thermic days, although they are not resident in this part of the country.

The last couple of days there has been a seagull that likes to accompany our gliders in the good air (and the bad air when we get it wrong!).

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