Gilfach and Gigrin, Powys, Wales
Steve Spry Rob Cross and I decided to make the trip to Wales on Sunday in the hope of getting some shots of Redstarts and Pied flycatchers at Gilfach and then Red Kites at Gigrin.
Another 4am start and a three hour drive meant we were on site for 7am. As soon as we arrived at Gilfach we located a pair of Redstarts immediately The sun was bright even this early in the morning and the birds were not really coming to the mealworms we had brought along although a Robin, Great tit, and a couple of Coal tits were getting an easy meal.
After a while we decided to go down the hill to a purpose built hide where once again we had a pair of Redstarts occasionally coming back and forth to the free offerings we had. A pair of Pied flycatchers were nesting in a nearby tree and a pair of Dippers were feeding their fledglings on the river below us alongside a pair of Grey wagtails, Steve also spotted a Fox as it slowly made its way across the track beside the hide we were in. We all managed a few Redstart shots but once again the very strong sunlight made things difficult for us. A couple of Nuthatch were constantly back and forth to the mealworms along with occasional visits from the male Pied flycatcher.
At about 2.15 we made our way up to Gigrin farm where there is a Kite feeding station and purpose built hides suitable for photographers. For anyone who has never been it is well worth a visit and the sight of Red Kites flying within just a few metres of you is hard to explain, you really need to experience it. An hour later we all left the hide totally exhausted, holding even a small camera and lens and photographing these birds flying is physically exhausting and I was quite pleased to get back in the car where I slept almost all the way home.
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