Wow, January has flown by and the blogging has been sidelined. However the photography hasn’t and over the last few weeks I’ve been out and about in the cold and snow. The first trip of the year was up to the Red Kites Feeding Centre in Llanddeusant.
This was my first visit to the centre, hopefully it won’t be the last. It’s off the beaten track mind so give yourself a bit of time to get to the location – we just made it for feeding time after taking a detour! Everyday at 2pm (Summer) and 3pm (Winter) the Red Kites are fed at the centre – this brings in anything up to 80 birds swooping down and feeding to pick up the fresh meat. Admission to the area is just £3 for adults.
Aside from being an amazing spectacle, the feeding is a perfect trip for photographers. There’s a lot going on and it was easy to get overwelmed – there are so many birds that it’s easy to get distracted.
The downside about going at the start of January was that the light was very poor. It was dark, grey and overcast – not totally ideal. Hopefully on another visit they’ll be better conditions. However, all trips are learning curves.
Firstly a lot of shots I did had the birds going out of frame. This was because I was centralising them to take the shot – but by the time the shutter went down the bird would have moved. The key it seems is to click as the bird moves into frame.
Secondly I took a lot of sky shots. This meant that once they were tweaked in the digital darkroom that sky features were pretty much lost. The result was a bird on a grey/white background. Next time it’d be nice to get more shots lower down with scenary in the background.
The owners of Red Kite Centre also gave a fantastic tip. Wait!! The birds come down when the meat is first distributed and then it looks like the feeding is over. Many people then leave, but by waiting a little longer the feeding starts again.
Finally keep your eyes open – the best shot of the day (above) arose just as we left the centre. The Red Kite posed just long enough to give me at least one decent shot from a fun but very cold day.