Croeso Network

Gigrin Farm Red Kite Centre in Rhayader Powys


Red Kite Feeding Centre

With breathtaking feats of aerial piracy red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings.

Feeding takes place at 2pm GMT (well, no-one tells the kites that the clocks change!). The crows are first to turn up in trees around the feeding area and make it quite a noisy affair with the calls of jackdaws and carrion crows and the deep 'cronking' of ravens. Buzzards and red kites circle overhead; buzzards are far more vocal than kites, their powerful 'mewing' carrying a long way.

As soon as the meat has been put out the crow family start emerging from the surrounding trees. As the first crows land amongst the meat the kites go on the offensive. Kites watch and wait their chance to furl their wings and dive in, skimming the ground to snatch a scrap before rising suddenly to escape the beaks of the angry crows.

Many kites appear to miss their target by a wide margin but are actually intent on flushing meat laden crows into the air from where they can be mugged by the very best in the business!

With the meat clutched in its talons the kite will make for clear airspace where it can feel secure enough to feed. With its 1.8 metre wings spread out for stability the head turns down to meet with its forward lifted legs. Now the kite can feed, but must still keep an eye out for other marauding kites...

The number of kites using the feeding station can vary anything from a dozen to 100 or more depending on weather and time of year. Weather plays a big part in this... With the onset of bad weather numbers can increase dramatically, but on blue sky days in spring they may well take their time in coming for their lunch!

While seeing large numbers of kites is an amazing sight some of the better photographic opportunities present themselves when fewer kites visit as they are far more leisurely in their approach to feeding and frequently float around the area in front of the hides for some time before taking their morsel of choice.

We now have four large hides, (3 are shown here), for the viewing of the kite feeding spectacle. Two are suitable for disabled access.
 

 

 
Facing east and, being just 30 metres from where the kites sweep down, the hides give excellent opportunities for photography.

The meat being fed: 60 - 80lbs of beef, all fit for human consumption. Great care has been taken to secure a consistent supply of fresh meat!

Gigrin Farm,

Rhayader, Powys, LD6 5BL

Telephone:- +44 1597 810243  Fax:- +44 1597 810357

Website:-  http://www.gigrin.co.uk


 

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