The Red Kite feeding station at Gigrin Farm in mid-Wales is a superb place for the bird photographer. This long established site, with excellent hides, can attract up to 300 birds during the daily afternoon feeding. Other species are also drawn in by the free meat handout including good numbers of both Buzzard and Raven.
I have only visited twice before and both times have been very brief for various reasons. Looking back into my photo archive, my last visit was back in the summer of 2008, and definitely far too long ago. On that visit the skies were grey, the light was poor and the birds looked rather tatty as they were in mid-moult. So with a day off work booked last Friday and the forecast looking reasonably good, I set off with my friend Steve on the twisting and fairly tortuous journey down in to mid-Wales.
One of the two unusual leucistic birds that visit the site, soaring past the autumn coloured trees .
In total we had about 20 minutes of sunshine and so tried to make the most of the brief sunny spells. I was keen to try and get some diving photos during this session. Typically the birds will drift over the food before turning in mid-air and plunging to the ground to grab a bit of meat off the ground.
The majority of the Kites looked brilliant with their new feathers, having recently moulted. Another advantage of timing our visit when we did was that some of the surrounding trees were showing their autumn colours providing some really attractive coloured backgrounds to the photographs. I am a big fan of the dorsal view for birds in flight, particularly Red Kites as the show great colours and patterns across their backs and the upper side of the wings.