Trip reports

Local Group Outing

Local Group Outing
Brian Robertson

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Twenty-seven of us, including three welcome new members, met at Doune Castle for a walk up and down the banks of the river Teith. The car park yielded Great Tit and Robin. As we approached some woodland a skein of Greylag geese flew overhead and we saw a Wren, Blackbird and a Treecreeper. We had divided into two groups and one was lucky enough to see a Jay and a Buzzard on the same branch on the other side of the river. We all had good sightings of three Dippers and heard their warbling song too. A Merganser flew rapidly upstream and in a small copse we saw a gang of Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Goldcrest. Coal Tit, a Grey Heron, Jackdaws, a Dunnock and Mistle Thrush completed the tally. We then set off for Lerrocks farm where the Red Kites are fed daily at 1.30pm. We heard and saw a Bullfinch whilst we were eating our lunch and saw a Pied Wagtail in the mud in a pig pen. In the hide, Toby spotted a number of Fieldfare in a distant tree and a Magpie, more Buzzards, Crows and a Raven were also seen. We were treated to an informative talk from Tom, the ranger as we waited for the Red Kites to be tempted by the small amount of rabbit meat. We were told that there are now about 350 Red Kites in the area, and this year, despite the weather, 101 chicks fledged successfully and were tagged on their wings.
The Kites had been circling above for some time, and suddenly, for a few minutes we saw them swoop onto the food, hardly ever landing, but picking up the meat in their talons. The sun decided to shine and we could see the red colouration to their body and wings and see how they manoeuvred using their forked tails. All too soon the show finished, and we were driven back to our cars by the cold.