Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Loch Ken

It's a long time since I last visited Loch Ken in Dumfries and Galloway, 25 years to be precise, and all of my previous visits have been in winter. Since I was in the area, I decided to have a late afternoon / evening visit, and found it completely different to my memories. The most obvious change is the Red Kite, which is now present in good numbers due a re-inroduction scheme in the area, and Loch Ken even has a "Red Kite Trail". I saw at least five of these magnificent birds, including two in the village of Crossmichael. 

Even better, as I approached one of the hides, I heard a familiar call overhead, and looking up saw two Ospreys. I carried on to the hide and watched them for several minutes as they circled over the loch. Like the Kites, Ospreys have really spread in recent years, but unlike the kites, it's all down to the Ospreys themeselves, with no helping hand from Man (apart from the completely unessessary re-introduction at Rutland Water).

Osprey. There were a couple of birders in the hide who were trying to work out why the "Red Kites" that were circling over the Loch didn't have forked tails. I was pleased to be able to inform them that actually they were Ospreys, which was great news for them because neither of them had seen Osprey before! The weather has not beeen a complete washout this week, as you can see from this photo!

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