Monday, 29 November 2010

Brrrrrrr its cold!!

With 5” of snow on the ground and punishing frosts at night, it’s been touch and go on starting the vehicles.
The Blue tractor got going just in time to feed the kites yesterday as the normal one wouldn't even turn over after 4 hours of battery charging. I'm sure in the current weather the kites would not have minded if I'd used any sort of transport for the meat as they poured in. The movie below is quite short but will give an idea of the numbers of grateful birds attending the feeding session.

 There is a larger movie on the gigrin site - click here

A coach made it up to the farmyard yesterday - much to everyone’s surprise, as 2 wheel drive cars are still unable to get up the bank.
I expect the weight of the vehicle made for much more grip on the slippery surfaces. Only 4x4s have been able to come up to the farmyard so the offer from Brynafon still stands - their car park may be used for 2 wheel drive cars.
Chris Wells, an ornithologist from Hereford was watching the feeding from a bank overlooking the area and estimated that a good 600 red kites were present for lunch today. 

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snow and Red Kite - So soon!

It doesn't seem very long ago that I was posting about snow at Gigrin but yesterday (26th November) 4" - 5" fell between 11am and 3pm. 

Hundreds of red kites  plus two white red kites came in for their lunch as the snow fell. 

Today was very different with sunshine all afternoon so I took a couple of photographs while I had the chance - Colin feeds the kites Friday and Saturday.

 The main road is getting better but our drive is currently only accessible by 4x4s (with 4 wheel drive selected!), so I've an agreement with the owner of Bryafon to allow 2 wheel drive cars to park in their car park over the length of the present storm. 

Friday, 19 November 2010

Over 400 kites + Update on the Nikon Photography Course

Click to see the movie
Well over 400 red kites have been feeding at Gigrin this past week and the first birds come in as I put the food down so I am hoping for better weather next week as my filming came to nought these past 7 days.

Part of the problem was that on the only sunny day I had to use the blue (Landini) tractor as the Red (Zetor) wouldn't start after the nights frost.

The kites are unaccustomed to seeing the meat delivered by anything else than the red tractor so stayed well back until I'd left the area.

Colin fed the kites today and will be again tomorrow so I'll be looking towards Sunday and the week ahead for a days sunshine.

The Nikon Photography Course to be held here on Wednesday 26th January 2011 is now fully booked, but following the success of the take up an additional day has been added so there are now spaces on Tuesday 25th January.
Apart from the obvious advantages of having guidance from a professional photographer, there will also be opportunities to try out Nikon telephoto lenses on your camera without the outlay of buying these optics.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

White Red Kite and hundreds of red ones

Gigrin has seen a great many kites feeding in past winters but, on the cooler days these past weeks, there have been more than can be counted, and the white red kite is now also making daily appearances.

 As our meat chiller only keeps its contents fresh for a week, and during the Christmas period, there are no deliveries for 2 weeks, obtaining enough food for the birds has been an annual headache.

Therefore, we have now invested in two commercial deep freezes. We receive deliveries twice a week. As we know how much is required on a weekly basis when cutting the supplies up, any quantity beyond those needs will be frozen for the emergency that Christmas brings us.
 That's the plan anyway.
Nikon Uk are holding a Photography Course here on the 26th January 2011.
Bookings can be made here. That will be a date to look out for.

If the weather is kind this coming week, and if you visit the feeding centre, you may see me with a strange looking contraption strapped to my hat..
This is will be a HD video camera and I'm hoping it will capture the kites as they swoop down in front of me as I put out the food.

I'll upload some footage if I end up with anything good enough.