Friday, 27 February 2009

Red Kite Gallery

I know its been a while since I posted news here but, I have been working on the site.. 300 plus pages take a lot of time to convert to css so the 'new look' for the whole site is a little way off yet. I have however managed to find a little time to put a new page of images on the site:- Red Kite Gallery

The red kite pictured here was taken by Janet Baxter. The unusual markings make it quite unmistakable, even when surrounded by many of its brethren, with the white flashes of its primaries immediately catching the eye.
Numbers of red kites visiting the feeding station reached 500 when the winter weather was its hardest, but now that its milder the adults will be thinking of their nest sites so their numbers will gradually decline.

This will help those looking to take photographs as, with a few hundred kites spread over the afternoon, it should be easier to pick out individual birds..
Photographers are coming here from around Europe .. Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Holland , and more.

We've recently been featured on a large number of blogs, including that of Juan Carlos Muñoz of Wild Wonders.com. The Belgium equivalent of the RSPB are featuring us in the April edition of their magazine, and the BBC are filming here early next month, so we are highlighted in the news quite often.

Powy CC are closing the Builth Wells Tourist Information Centre. This means the nearest to us will be Brecon - some 40+ miles away.
I do however note that the signage, that we've been pressing for for years, on both the East (A44) and North (A470/A44) roads , now include Gigrin Red Kite Centre, in both English and Welsh..

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Its Snow time!

Well, the snow piled in, and photographers from all over the country and beyond have been here this past 10 days.

The meat being taken out has been the greatest amount ever, as the number of hungry red kites have mushroomed during this latest spell of winter weather.

A certain 'feeding station' to the north of Rhayader was not in operation during the days the snow fell last week,  so we had an extra contingent of kites coming here instead.

 In 16 years there has not yet been a single day when the kites have gone without food here at Gigrin Farm. 

Having a third meat supplier has meant a far greater variety of types of food and this was extremely useful. 
The depth of snow meant that most of the kites natural food was buried. Given the fall we had had I was worried that the meat would disappear when thrown out, so, I used both the tractor, and the hand shovel, to lessen the depth that lay on the feeding area.
We also used much more red meat than we would have normally as this could still be easily seen even if it fell into the an area I'd not reduced in depth. 
Above: One of our happy customers leaving with its prize. 

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow!

Winter is certainly not over and, having seen the sheep voluntarily come down from the hill, snow or rain was not going to be far behind.

I awoke to around 1/2" of snow, but it has snowed all day so has mounted up quite quickly. The heaviest fall is due over night and tomorrow.

The first thing I went to do this morning was send out the 'snow alert' to those photographers who have subscribed for news of the white stuff here at Gigrin. Alas, this was thwarted time and time again. My ISP soon owned up to knowing why, and promised to "knock heads together". It was late afternoon before the messages finally left here so apologies to all those who I let down.

We have a reasonably good supply of red meat so despite the layer of snow the kites could readily see the food that I'd spread over the feeding area.

No sign of the usual mad rush today. The kites were much more deliberate than is normal, and instead, took time in seeking out a particular morsel before lining up correctly for the pick up.

The photograph on the right is not my best but, with snow falling down my neck in minus temperatures, it was a rushed job.