The grasslands in Poway between Metate Road and the South Poway Industrial Park has in years past, been a good place to find White-Tailed Kites. Sadly, this is not the case anymore. There used to be a dead cottonwood tree near Metate and Carriage roads. Kites and other raptors loved perching on its upper branches and keeping an eye on the surrounding fields. A few years ago there was a small grass fire which the local fire department put out handily. Though the tree posed no danger to anyone, some overzealous firefighter tested out his lumberjack skills and brought out a chainsaw he must have been dying to try out, and cut down the tree. Those of us who knew the value this vantage point provided, were appalled at this needless action. Kite activity slowly curtailed from daily sightings to a few sightings a year.
When kites were more common in the valley, I would sometimes be blessed with flyovers at my house. These were especially exciting when the birds would engage in aerial combat maneuvers. I once saw two kites lock talons at 400 feet in the air, then spin all the way to within a few feet of crashing to the ground.
Some of these image were captured in the grasslands and some from my yard.