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  • Writer's pictureneil.condick

Something you must do before you die... If you are a photographer!!

So to do this you don't even need to get up that early, a bonus for those who are retired or even Manni!

Pete and myself visited Gigrin Farm in Rhayader yesterday, 4th May 2022. What an experience.

The 'farm' opens at 12.30 and closes at 17.00 prompt... I nearly got locked in the toilets at closing time.

We decided to pay for a Photographers hide rather than a public hide. Mainly as the numbers are restricted. I chose the Gateway hide which accommodates three people.

Fortunately we had it to ourselves.

We entered the hide at about 13.00 after a drive of just over two hours. A few Red Kites were in the sky. Im guessing these are the greedy ones wanting to be the first to the food.

as 15.00 approach, feeding time in the summer. The sky gradually filled with Kites.

At 14.55 there must of been about two hundred kites in the area.

we then heard the engine of a tractor coming up the lane. This was like 'Hey birdies, feeding time!'. The kites came closer awaiting their feed.

The little red tractor with a 'bucket' at the rear pulled up and the guy from the 'farm' shovelled the food (not sure what it was) and threw it across the grass in front of the hides.

Well, you have seen nothing like it as the Kites swooped in for their feed. They were between 5 to 20 metres from us.

I was using my mirrorless Canon with a 100-400mm lens. Fortunately my camera has AF tracking, which at the speed the birds approached was a bonus.

Pete was using his Canon 90D and started off with his 150-500mm Sigma. He soon realised that the birds were actually too close and he switched to his 55-250mm, I believe.

We spent the next couple of hours taking hundreds of photographs.

I've still got to work through mine, but I have attached a couple of shots.

If you like nature Gigrin Farm is a must visit. I know Manni has a trip planned in the near future, his second I believe and I can see why!

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Pete Ricketts
May 05, 2022

Visiting Gigrin Red Kites with Neil was certainly an enjoyable experience. The staff at the farm were very helpful and the position of the hides such that the sun was predominantly behind them, meaning the lighting for photography was good. It was noticeable that the Photographer's Hide had a larger/deeper viewing aperture making camera handling easier. Definitely worth a visit if you're into bird photography or fancy a new challenge.


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