Saturday, 27 March 2010

Red Kites and Summer Time

Today was the last day, for another 7 months, that the kites were to be fed at 2pm. 

We will still be open from 1pm but from Sunday 28th March (tomorrow) until the last weekend of October, the red kites will be fed at 3pm

We currently have a Buzzard and a Red Kite in our rehabilitation aviaries, with another red kite expected in on Monday.

I'm currently working on large species identification posters for the red kite feeding hides, with raven, rook, carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, buzzard, and red kite, being the targets for this project. This has been something that I've long been promising but slow on producing.. 
Forecasters are now saying that we could see snow on tuesday night - thought we'd seen the end of winter!

Our local town, Rhayader, is becoming The Wildlife Centre of Wales.
The design of information pages for the web site are already in hand and other aspects are on going. The appearance of Gigrin on BBC Spring Watch last year was the spark. Watch this space - as the saying goes.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Back to the fray..

 Meat was in short supply when I got back on the Sunday so urgent phone calls were made the next day  and our local butcher came to the rescue. Supplies are now keeping up with demand again although we have still not sufficient to have back up of more than one day. 

I'd not seen the Black Kite here on the 15th or 16th March, and to be truthful I'd stopped looking for the bird, thinking it's Spring and the kite would likely be looking to find more of its kind, but on there is a sighting in Powys..

 I duly took out a short subscription, to dig a little deeper and, to my surprise, there are postings of the black kite still here on the the 17th so I'll be watching a bit harder tomorrow!

The new photographic hide has proved popular and helps take the strain from the standard hides on busy days.

The kites are taking food as soon as the meat hits the floor. Numbers of birds coming in for food are around the 200 +. The pecking order is well intrenched so there are still red kites coming for food beyond 4pm.

Which brings me to the coming weekend.
Sunday 28th March feeding will be at 3pm as we will all have lost an hours sleep when the clocks go forward.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Back in 10 days or so.. and the kites will still be fed

For the next 2 weeks Colin will be feeding the kites here at Gigrin. I'm escaping to recharge my batteries, and to hopefully repair a rather painful knee..

The numbers of red kites coming to feed are now dropping as they again pair up and leave for their nesting sites. However, there will still be a good number coming into the feeding station as there are some which will be nesting quite close to us, others will not have found a mate, and of course, the numbers of immature  red kites grow with each year passing. 

With lower numbers the photographic opportunities rise as the birds take more time choosing their food than when there is more competition.

Both the White (Lucistic) red kite, and the black kite have been seen flying over the field at the same time and some lucky photographers have even managed a to take red, white, and black kites in the same shot.

The new photographic Big hide has proved to be a hit so we now have  the choice of 3 different locations from which to take photographs or video.

While I'm away, as well as Colin feeding, on the gate will be Alan, Mary, or Colin.
in the shop will be Lorraine, my Mother, Mary, or Rachel. Colin and Alan will also give a hand when needed. So all should run as smoothly as usual, so long as the crows play fair. 
These black birds have, on a number of occasions, not been prepared to be first on the field. This has led the kites to back off as the "must be something wrong". It then takes a single crow, or a buzzard, to land on the food for the kites to immediately  descend from the skies but the wait for that one brave bird can sometimes test ones patience.

Thankfully, these occasions are infrequent but when they happen its time to settle back and wait. After all, these are wild birds.

News will appear here again in a couple of weeks, and I'm sure the black kite will still be coming in for food when I come back.