The Kites

As you know, we went to Gigrin Farm last week to watch the Kite feeding. It was quite an experience. It seems to be quite a popular thing to do, as there are two other sites who feed kites – one at Llanddeusant and another at Bwlch Nant yr Arian. They may not all offer the number of kites seen at Gigrin, but even 50 kites are a majestic sight.

The growth from a couple of pairs in the 1950s is an epic story. In the rest of the UK they have done it by importing stock from Spain, Sweden and Germany, but in Wales they have done it all by improving the environment. The fact that Buzzards (another big, lazy predator) has recently done well suggests that things are working with the birds (lack of gamekeepers and plenty of rabbits being big factors).

Their predilection for dead prey does help – you can’t imagine Goshawks and Peregrines coming down for a scoop of ground beef.

Things are going so well we are actually using our own Kites to repopulate the UK and have actually sent some back to Europe.

The only place they aren’t doing well is the north of Scotland, a heavily keepered area. You may draw your own conclusions. You  might also want to look here for reports of crimes against Kites and other raptors.

But on a more positive note, have a look at the photos and imagine the loud claps as they strike wings with their neighbours. If you are lucky you can even see the two birds falling from the sky after colliding. Unfortunately I couldn’t catch it on film.

There are other birds on the farm too. What you don’t see is that it then doubled back to have another go at the reflection. I’m not sure it’s good for the mental health of the peacock but it seemed reasonably happy.

Later I will do a post with some photos.

14 thoughts on “The Kites

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  2. Lavinia Ross

    That is an amazing recovery story about the kites. I worked as a volunteer in a wildlife center in my youth. We had a number of birds of prey permanent residents that had suffered at the hands of humans.

  3. Pingback: A Few More Kites | quercuscommunity

  4. tootlepedal

    We have a red kite centre not far from us and out visit there was fascinating. Your videos are good, they give a real impression of the activity at feeding time.


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