Monday, 29 June 2009

ITV Country Wise at Gigrin

I missed to add that on Thursday (25th June) that we were again on TV - ITV Country Wise presented Gigrin and I've heard nothing but praise despite my not being able to hardly open my eyes during filming due to the sun, and reflector being used.
The red kites for Ireland project, based here at Gigrin, is managed by the Welsh Kite Trust, Golden Eagle Trust Ltd of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland RSPB. This information was not mentioned in the broadcast.
That apart, all went quite well. I just didn't manage to add the dates on this page before the relevant day.
The programme was very well received so a big thank you to the ITV team.
The programme is still available from the iplayer.
The kites are still coming in as fast as ever. Something I have been expecting to cease for some time.
Tomorrow (Monday) I have to be elseware so Colin Horlock, our very helpful meet-er and greet-er on weekends, will be putting out the meat for the kites.
I'll be back on duty on Tuesday.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Red kite chicks for Ireland

Its that time of year again - Red kite chicks heading for Ireland.

The first batch went over last weekend, as they have the past two years but this time it was not so easy at the border..
When Damian Clark, The Red Kite Project Leader in Ireland, came back to the farm it was with the news that the Irish Authorities had brought up a problem with the paperwork.
In the past I have signed off on the visual health of the chicks and verified that the farm is not under any disease controls. The farm is registered under the Balai Directive and as such I have the authority to sign the papers. This not now good enough for the Irish Republic as the licence now requires a ministry vet to verify the health and status of the farm.
The trouble is - DEFRA do not have a form for this..
Many telephone calls and faxes over this week have today resulted in a private vet being accepted for the checks, and, with that news, much relief all around. Below is a short video of the chicks in one of our rehabilitation aviaries.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Springwatch - WOW!

Having been successful in bringing in a few dozen kites in for an evening feed for the past few weeks I had thought the job was done and that Springwatch would have red kites feeding live on TV.
But, alas, that was not to be as this was the hottest day of the year so far, and the evening had not yet cooled down, so those birds that were flying were having fun high on the thermals while the remainder were just happy to rest in the trees.

I was invited to sit in the control room while the programme went live and had the various workings explained to me. This was something I would never have expected and gave me a peek into some of the work that goes on behind the scenes.
Thank you Springwatch :)
Despite the kites not coming in for the food on the night Simon King, a true professional, was prepared for that, and had plenty of other material to share. The slow motion shots he'd taken last Friday were fantastic. Although I've watched, photographed, and filmed red kites many times over the past 16 years, I was amazed as the 1000 frame a second camera gave an incredible insight into just how much adjustment and precision these red kites put in to that final pick up.

I don't think Simon King could have been more complimentary to what has been achieved with these beautiful raptors here at Gigrin, and I believe he thoroughly enjoyed his experience here too.
Thank you Spring Watch.