The Kites of Allendale

Last week I managed to find a little time to go photograph a fun personal project!

I’ve heard of the amazing Kites of Allendale for several years, but never had a chance to get up there to photograph them. So I packed up the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-400 f4 VR…my favorite wildlife combo…and headed out on a road trip.

Allendale county is known to have huge fields of crops where tons of dragonflies and beetles congregate during the summer months. Swallow-tailed kites don’t normally come this far over. But during this time of year, they’ve discovered this bountiful feast-for-the-taking!  Here’s some info if you’re interested in seeing this majestic scene:  http://www.carolinabirdclub.org/sites/SC/allendale.html.

It’s a little late in the season. Normally July is the best time to catch them. But I managed to find a few swooping and soaring not far outside Allendale.  At first I just watched in awe as these expert flyers effortlessly circled and swirled overhead, periodically diving to grab a tasty handful, then climbing back into the wind to chow down. Eventually I grabbed the camera and enjoyed playing “target practice” with these fast-moving subjects.

It was a great challenge! I’m happy with what I got for as few kites as there were, and as short a window of time I had to work with. But my resolve to return next year during peak season has been doubled!!! 🙂

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