Gigrin Farm Red Kite Centre in Rhayader Powys
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!
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
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
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!
Rhayader, Powys, LD6
Telephone:- +44 1597
810243 Fax:- +44 1597 810357
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