BIRDS: Red Kites at Gigrin Farm, Wales (1st June 2014)

A slightly overcast day on Sunday but I had already decided I wanted to see the spectacle of red kites in Wales.

Luckily the rain held off and arriving at Gigrin Farm in Wales I had my camera poised.

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Clear skies with no sign of red kites yet.

Feeding time starts at 3.00pm and sitting in hide 2, red kites were already gathering in the trees at 2.30pm. How on earth do they know what time it is?

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Then a tractor arrived loaded with food. What followed was one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles I have ever seen!

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I don’t know how many red kites arrived to feed in total, diving down to pick up food. They never landed to feed, even if they weren’t successful in picking up the piece of food they had aimed for. They grabbed the food as they swooped down and ate it in flight.

Red kites were diving and swooping in all directions, up and over the hide where I was sitting. Certainly better than any 3D movie! (Listen for the sound of buzzards in the background of this next video).

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I had hoped to get a few photographs of the red kites in flight, but as an amateur photographer and so many red kites to choose from, it was almost impossible for me.

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Eventually I sat back and just enjoyed the moment. Buzzards soon joined in the feeding frenzy along with crows. Buzzards can easily be identified from the red kites as buzzards land to feed.

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Sometimes the red kites would chase the crows and rob them of food in mid flight.

The main feeding lasted about 20 minutes in total but it was certainly worth the 2 and a half hour car journey there.

There were still plenty of red kites circling once all the food had gone.

Heading back to the farm, I was thrilled to see my first sighting of a redstart.

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Swallows could also be seen inside a barn.

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A Few Facts about Gigrin Farm and the Red Kites

* The meat fed to the kites is beef.

* The red kites are native to Wales. An albino kite can also be seen feeding here.

* Gigrin Farm became the red kite feeding station in 1993 following by a request from the RSPB.

* The number of red kites has risen from around a dozen in the first year to over 400 in the winter of 2005/2006.

* DNA results show that the red kites tested are all descendants of a single female!

This is by far the biggest bird table I have ever seen!

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jackie Cheadle says:

    Some brilliant photos Zo, l cant believe how many kites were gathering at feeding time. Love the kite in flight, the buzzard, and that redstart is a beautiful colour, 🙂

  2. Steve Bootsy says:

    Looks like a fantastic place-got to get along and check it out myself.

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