Red Kites in Wales

On a brief visit to the United Kingdom this weekend for a family celebration,  I carried on my 100-400mm f/5.6 lens and was able to slip away to photograph a bird that has been on my “must-photograph” list for a long time – the Red Kite (Milvus milvus). Thanks to the generous help of British birder/author/photographer Jim Almond (http://shropshirebirder.co.uk), I visited Gigrin Farm in Rhayader, Wales (www.gigrin.co.uk ) where wild Red Kites have been fed daily since 1993 as part of the successful plan to reintroduce this once abundant bird to its former habitat. Shortly after the food was thrown down, the sky was full with hundreds of kites — circling and then dramatically diving down to snatch a morsel of meat from the ground with forward thrusting talons in classic raptor fashion. A memorable afternoon!

White Sky, Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

White Sky, Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

Post Script:     While the 100-400mm lens is easy to travel with, giving up a full stop compared to the 500mm f/4 hurts more than one might think on a light-limited day where the action is fast — which was the case today!

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