The red kite and the pussy cat

by Helen Hooker October. 04, 2018 1448 views

Yes, you did read that correctly – this isn’t Lewis Carroll’s ‘The owl and the pussy cat’! This afternoon I paid a visit to the red kite feeding centre at Llandeusant and got rather more than I anticipated….

We headed into the bird hide half hour or so before the feeding started, although the kites were already gathering in the skies nearby. A few minutes later a fluffy black cat, named Alice, jumped through the window and joined us, offering feline affection to anyone who paid her attention. Of course, I was happy to give her some fuss and she quickly jumped down onto my lap! She evidently decided I was her favourite visitor, promptly curled up and fell asleep.

Alice kindly posed for a couple of photos after the kites had been fed and she'd had a good snooze on my lap

Alice kindly posed for a couple of photos after the kites had been fed and she'd had a good snooze on my lap

Fortunately, I’d already chosen my spot to sit so I accepted this vote of feline confidence and made the best of the situation. Alice didn’t stop me taking pictures and, with a warm bundle of fluff on my lap, I certainly wasn’t going to get cold!

The next forty-five minutes was spent watching and photographing the red kites as they swooped down for food. With about a hundred birds to choose from, I was spoilt for choice. Initially it was a little overwhelming, not knowing which bird to aim my camera at. Ultimately, I developed a strategy where I picked a bird at random and simply tracked it across the sky. Some made beautiful shapes with their wings, while other dived away dramatically, but bird photography never is a precise science!

As well as the red kites there were other avian visitors too, including magpies, buzzards and ravens. While the red kites swooped in, grabbing tasty morsels from the grass, the buzzards landed and simply tucked in wherever the food was. At one point I could see no fewer than five buzzards on the grass, looking up only when they were being dive bombed by the kites.

The ravens followed a similar tactic, although they spent much more time observing the melee from nearby branches. I always enjoy watching these magnificent (and very intelligent) birds, especially as they rarely make it as far east as our home patch.

4 October 2018

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Shane Coleman 1 year, 2 months ago

It is amazing how big some birds really are. Many times we don’t realize until we see them in real life and up close.

I’m slowly forming a “bucket list” of birds I’d like to photograph. Kites are on the list. 😉

Kudos!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Jane Arrietty 1 year, 2 months ago

Great shots again!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 2 months ago

Awesome photos!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
David Swatton 1 year, 2 months ago

Gorgeous set - almost surreal against the plain white sky

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Kay Hooker 1 year, 2 months ago

Obviously Alice knows the best place to get e very good view of the birds feeding. I assume she never tries to catch one of these for her own supper!smile+1

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
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