Gigrin Farm is the place to go if you want to see and photograph red kites. Located in Rhayader, mid Wales, it’s been an official feeding station since the early 1990s. It’s also close to Elan Valley with it’s six stunning victorian dams (see below), if you fancy a bit of landscape photography whilst you’re there.
With a 1.8m wingspan, it’s their effortless flight that I found amazing. They mainly eat carrion, and have small feet and a relatively weak bill for a bird of its size. They were once common in London, before modern sanitation the streets provided plenty of scraps for kites and crows.
There are a number of hides at the farm, this video was taken from the Big Tower Hide. As the name suggests it’s higher then the other hides, it also has an open front so there’s plenty of scope for snapping the kites that fly near and over the hides. For more info click here.
Red kite feeding
I shot the video whilst also photographing the kites. I’d watched a couple of videos before I went but I didn’t really have much idea how long it would last and the number of birds. Obviously the number of birds changes, but the video below shows a 25 minute scene from the first scoop of beef being thrown – only top quality apparently! I actually carried on taking photos for about 2 hours as there were still birds lingering around. It’s easier to isolate a bird once the numbers have thinned out, although including a number of birds in the same frame can work too as long as they’re well positioned.
There were also, crows, ravens and buzzards present, plus the peacocks and farm cat, although the cat seemed only to look on from a distance.
For more info on Gigrin Farm and red kites click here.