Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Laurieston red kite centre, Galloway.

My family and I are on holiday on the edge of the Galloway Forest and we had a cunning plan and that was  to visit Red kite centre which is part of the Galloway kite trail on the way through to our hired house. The birds are fed at 2pm and we thought we could get some lunch and visit this (which is to the south of the forest). Well, we set out at 05.30 from Hertfordshire and arrived way before this time and decided it had to be visited another day.

We struck out after a visit to the equally enjoyable red deer range and arrived in good time. Oh, and it's very easy to find. To be honest I expected a basic set up but there was a souvenir shop come café with large viewing windows and a balcony area with outside seating, complete with fixed pairs of binoculars and an RSPB chap with a telescope to inform and answer questions.

The kites aren't daft and were forming up some time before the feeding and indeed, due to the windy conditions we counted up to eleven sat in some hawthorn bushes sheltering. Those that were airborne mixed petty airborne arguments with effortless flight with little flapping of wings with a total of around twenty or so.

By the time two o'clock arrived we estimated that there were 60+ and it was impossible to not see many birds in front of us. The show starts with red meat being thrown in front of the seated area and this caused several kites to power in to get the morsels right in front of us.

After that the remaining red meat was placed on a wooden structure but there was little interest despite the birds staying over the field.

Half an hour later and the number of birds dwindled to around a dozen but the remaining meat was untouched. The RSPB guy said that this was because the hay was being cut and it provides the birds with copious amounts of protein as the farm vehicles disturb mice and so on.

 As well as a camera I also had my trail cam along to see what I could capture and it did a decent job. We are lucky enough to get them over our house but to see them in this number is a privilege, the only problem was taking pictures because they are so fast and numerous that it's hard to know where to look for the best!

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