At the weekend we went up to near Loch Ken. It seemed to get hotter the further north we went. I am normally happy to tramp along for hours but it was a bit warm over the weekend and there were times when I struggled. Water of Ken and Loch Ken are a decent size and I intend to spend some time closer to them on later visits. The header image shows a tiny part of Loch Ken taken from the A713 on the East side of it.
As usual, if you tap on an image, you can see them larger, in their gallery carousel.
Often when I am out and about near home I see Red Kite drifting about effortlessly. One of their re-introduction sites of Harewood is not too far away. They are also around Loch Ken; Dumfries and Galloway is another of their re-introduction sites. One of the Red Kites, the one being mobbed by the Crow, is tagged. The left wing has a green tag indicating it was tagged by the Dumfries & Galloway group and the right wing, used to indicate the year of tagging, has a red tag. I have yet to find out what year red represents. The numbers 47 are visible on the green tag. Given that the birds are seen frequently I don’t know if they would like me to send in my sightings. More investigation is needed. (see below)
After a bit more digging around (i.e. Googling) a red tag on the right wing was used in 2003, 2012 and 2020. The suggestion is that the tags stay on for around 5 years so the chances are that if it was tagged in 2012 then it would have lost at least one of its tags. Therefore it’s reasonable to think that the bird in the photo fledged, or was released, in 2020. I have not found any information tied in to the numbers. (see below again)
The Dumfries & Galloway Friends of Red Kites have got back to me and let me know that Green/Red 47 is a female Red Kite that was tagged on a nearby nest in 2012.
A view along the A713 reminded me of the impressive roman road, the A63, Dere St, that I used to get to Bellingham, a journey I made for Lest We Forget in Ingress. This particular stretch is straight(ish) with the rise and fall very apparent, and along the road side were Dog Rose, Hawthorn and Gorse with several Willow Warblers singing and several juveniles calling.
Crows were the noisiest birds and next to that were several Oystercatcher that seemed to be flying around us calling loudly.
In amongst the trees the rooftop ruins of Kenmure Castle were clearly visible. It might be worth a visit when I am in the area again. From further up the Loch the Glenlee hydroelectric power station could be seen with its large water pipe coming down the slope.
Catching sight of threes Hares chasing each other was good. Usually they are the first to see me and are off into the distance, sometimes from surprisingly close. If they keep still they blend in very well.
I don’t normally take photos of birds on feeders but seeing Siskins in bright sunshine was good. A Pied Wagtail is not something I expect to see in a garden. Starlings and Sparrows are also birds I don’t often see at feeders. Starlings are plentiful in Shipley centre and Sparrows can be seen and heard in several hedges in Baildon.