Monday was scheduled for a trip to Gigrin Farm near Rhayader in Wales, and I was lucky enough to be joining the organiser of the trip, Wildlife Photographer Chris Gomersall. Although this is under the auspices of Nikon UK, I had learned that the trips are camera-type agnostic, so sporting Canon equipment did not place me at a disadvantage or any additional cost burden. The red kite do not have any prejudices either, and they are not the only species of birds that attend the feeding station as I was to learn.
I set off with a clear GPS SatNav route to follow to meet up with Chris, but it did not account for a road closure close to my first destination, Potton – a bridge is being repaired, and this meant I had to phone Chris to find an alternative route to reach him. I arrived only five minutes later than we had arranged and we loaded the car with my camera gear and clothes and set off for Wales avoiding the motorway roadworks, breaking the journey at Telford. Along the way we both got the chance to know each other better and discuss a wide range of topics, not all related to what lay ahead at Gigrin Farm. One surprising incident was when Chris spotted a buzzard sitting happily on a road sign on our side of the road, he mentioned it to me and had I had a camera to hand it was so close I could have filled the frame using a wide angle lens!
We met rain and numerous light-controlled sections of roadworks even on these lesser roads, but arrived well in time to get our gear into the Brynafon Hotel and have some time at the afternoon feeding up at the farm where we took up station in the high hide. We were really lucky with the changing weather as during this ‘bonus’ time we were blessed with a rainbow that stayed for quite a while whilst the birds were still feeding.
We met up with one of the morrow’s delegates at the hide and learned he had seen a spectacular display at Aberystwyth of a Starling Murmuration, which decided us on the hour’s drive to coast to see whether we might be so lucky, but though they appeared briefly it was a very small flock that visited us! But the high tide and the skies still invited us to take pictures.
We joined up again with Daan and his wife at the hotel and suppered together enjoyably, all of us eager to repeat and improve upon that day’s shooting.