Red Grouse, Red Kite on Baildon Moor 1 June 2018

Another great walk on Baildon Moor. Red Grouse, Red Kite, Wall Brown, Small Heath and more.

Red Grouse Mum

One of the first things I heard were Red Grouse. I slowed my pace and started looking for heads in the tops of the grass but then there they were, walking towards me along the path. This is a female Red Grouse. She very quickly slid into the longer grass. Every few seconds a head would come up and then disappear.

Red Grouse Dad

Dad went off into the longer grass quickly.

Red Grouse Dad

Later on he watched from further up the slope.

Red Grouse chick

I then spotted a couple of chicks running off to the side into the longer grass.

Red Grouse, Mum and chick

But another chick didn’t seem to get the hang of hiding. It turned round and walked away from me along the path and Mum came out again as if to guide it along and keep between me and the chick.

Red Grouse chick

After standing up on this stone the chick disappeared into the longer grass

Red Grouse Mum

Mum also went into the longer grass and worked her way around behind me, presumably trying to bring her brood back together. So I carried on along the path and didn’t hear or see another Red Grouse.

Red Kite being mobbed by Lapwing

I did hear Lapwing make their strange call and fly around as a lamb or crow got too close to nest or young. But then it suddenly got a lot louder and a dozen or so Lapwing were in the air making a racket. And this was why – a Red Kite was hovering around.

Red Kite being mobbed by Lapwing

They repeatedly dive bombed it and drove it off. Soon it was a dot in the distance.

Skylark

I am not the best at bird ID but with evidence of a crest on its head I’m going to say this is a Skylark. Most of the time during my walk I could hear one of more Skylark in the air singing away.

Skylark juvenile

Now is this a juvenile Skylark or Meadow Pipit? I’m going to say Skylark.

Meadow Pipit with food

This Meadow Pipit has food in its beak so it is feeding young somewhere. I expect it to spend a bit more time catching things until no more will fit in its beak.

Meadow pipit

This Meadow Pipit was not making any noise so I assume it had its beak open like that in an attempt to cool down.

Meadow pipit

It then raised a leg and scratched the side of its head – and fell over. It was immediately back up again but it looked very strange.

Large Red Damselfly female

On the return walk one of the trees had a couple of Large Red Damselflies around it. This female…

Large Red Damselfly male

and a male.

Wall Brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera)

I was also quite pleased to spot a Wall Brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera) with its wings open.

Wall Brown butterfly underside (Lasiommata megera)

and its wings closed.

Small Heath butterfly

Several Small Heath butterflies were also flying around and one of them kindly settled on the path in front of me. Tiny things.

Nesting Bird sign

On the way home I checked that the nice a simple sign was up. “Dogs on a lead” and “Keep to the footpaths”. Simples.

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But everyone has to put their own interpretation on it. This lead is probably 30 or 40 metres long. So long that the dog has no problems running into the heather and over the wall into the next field. The woman then had to clamber to the wall to get the ribbon untangled.

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