Thursday 28 October 2010

Mini Trip Report - Part 5 - The 'White' Kite

As readers of this little mini series will know when I started it some time ago, I went to Gigrin Farm to see and photograph the Red Kites.  Now I knew some years ago of the 'White' Red Kite and was hoping to see it..

This bird is not a specific sub species of Kites but actually is a'Leucistic' form. This term means that the subject is mostly white or very light.  It is very different to albino-ism in that a leucistic form wil retain normal eye colouration rather than pink as seen on albino subjects.

Leucistic birds rarely last long as they a not usually accepted by their own and easily predated or preyed on.  This bird showed signs of this by the actions of its feeding and by others  heckling it.

Typically, it would turn up at least after an hour or so when the general mayhem had calmed down and there were fewer birds around.  It would pack itself up in the trees and wait and watch, and when it was very quiet it would take to the air, making very few dives for food, and sometimes not at all, as if it knew it's place in the pecking order.

Anyway, if you do go, make sure you hang around while the birds are still there, and the majority of people have cleared off as you might be lucky enough to see it.

More information can be found here on the Gigrin website.

 Easy to see the differences

 Darker undersides

 Wing tags No 51. Very pale tail

 Sat in the apple tree in the Sunday sun

 Crappy light on Saturday

Back next time with a few Buzzards for you


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