An extremely rare white-coloured red kite has been spotted in the Welsh hills - with the bird thought to be one of 10 in the world.The bird of prey is understood to have a condition called leucism - giving it a white plumage rather than the species' usual red.The kite - with its bright yellow beak and icy blue eyes - was pictured at a specialist red kite feeding centre in Rhayder, Powys.Hundreds of kites, buzzards, and ravens flock to the centre at Girgrin Farm where owner Chris Powell shovels meat from the back of his tractor to feed them.
Wildlife lover Sean Weekly, 31, couldn't believe his luck as he sat in one the farm's hides and spotted the rare white kite.Sean said: "I probably had it within 10-feet maybe of where I was sitting, just on the ground feeding so it was quite a rare encounter."It's rare to see them, but it's even rarer I think to see them on the ground and even rarer again to get them in the snow on the ground."It was just that sheer excitement when you know you have something quite incredible, something you know is different."For the last seven years I've been visiting the feeding centre in Gigrin and the surrounding areas of Mid Wales and a lot of time photographing red kites."As you can imagine, I've got quite a big collection of red kite photos and in all those years I've never got anything like that."
Professional photographer Sean has spent lockdown building a low-level hide at the centre in a bid to get close and personal with these majestic birds.He added: "It's a low-level hide so it's sunken, all the windows are level with the ground."The idea of it was to run workshops and teach like-minded photographers and allow them to see the birds a lot closer up on the ground, seeing what they normally do and feed."It's taken a lot of hard work to get them in, to get them used to the hide and to get them in close."Red kite numbers across the UK are soaring again after years of persecution and hunting drove them to the brink of extinction.