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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

The day began well with a Peregrine tearing across the sky as we enjoyed an early morning cup of tea over-looking Llandudno. Moments later the Peregrine came back, much slower, labouring with the weight of a feral pigeon in its talons. At least five Fulmars flapped stiffly back and forwards to the cliffs above the house.
Time to get moving. We picked up Mike Duckham and headed south on the twisting A470, Wales’ major north-south route, for Gigrin Farm in mid-Wales where a Black Kite had been seen. The journey was slow, bends and people who were not on route for a rarity reduced our speed.
As we neared the town of Rhyader, Powys, we began to see our first Red Kites and we knew we were getting close to the Kite feeding centre at Gigrin. Just south-east of the town we turned off the A470 and soon reached the Gigrin Farm.
We paid our entrance fee and marvelled at the number of Red Kites soaring over the area. More Red Kites were sat in oak trees in the sheep fields and many were calling, a high pitched mewing. It was really exciting to see so many raptors so close. Dozens of Common Buzzards and Ravens were hanging around, joined by two Grey Herons all hoping to cash in on the kites free food.
We checked each Red Kite hoping to pick out the vagrant Black Kite that had been coming in to feed here recently, a mega bird in Wales! No sign, so we walked down to the hides to wait for feeding time, 2pm. We stood outside the hides as this gave a better view of the sky and the trees around, better to see the Black Kite if it came in.
News reached us that other birders had seen the Black Kite briefly back at the car-park! At least it was around, but no matter how hard we tried we just could not pick it up. As feeding time approached even more Red Kites gathered with hundreds of birds in the air right above us, an amazing sight!
A man arrived on a tractor with a load of meat and a shovel. The small pieces of meat were spread across the grass in front of us and down swooped the Red Kites! The kites grabbed the food without landing and often fed on the wing. It was wonderful to see these beautiful raptors so close in the sunshine, twisting turning, calls, fighting, wow!
Then just as we were thinking we might dip on the Black Kite it was there! Right in front of us giving amazing views as it twisted and turned amongst its larger cousins. A lovely juvenile bird with streaked breast and strong “bandit” black mask. We were stunned and thrilled at the great views of the Welsh rarity!
Nice though the Black Kite was it has to be said the sight of so many Red Kites was the highlight of the day, just superb! We stayed well after feeding time just soaking up the views of what has to be one of the world’s top raptors!


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