Kites released in 2004 (Wing Tags 1 - 20)

Wing Tag 1

Wing Tag 2

Wing Tag 3

Wing Tag 4

Wing Tag 5

Wing Tag 6

Wing Tag 7

Wing Tag 8

Wing Tag 9

Wing Tag 10

Wing Tag 11

Wing Tag 12

Wing Tag 13

Wing Tag 14

Wing Tag 15

Wing Tag 16

Wing Tag 17

Wing Tag 18

Wing Tag 19

Wing Tag 20

 

 

 

 

Name:

Speedy

Wing Tag:

1

Adopted by:

Rowlands Gill Infants and Nursery School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Speedy spent much of his first year in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn, taking a trip to Warden Law near Houghton-le-Spring with WT14 and four kites from outside the region in October 2004.  Mainly, he was flying over, and roosting in, the Rowlands Gill area.  In summer 2005, he was often seen with WT3, visiting the kite pens calling to the young kites awaiting release.  He disappeared from Gateshead in late June 2005. 

In early February 2006 Speedy was detected in the Chilterns; he was last recorded in this area on 7th June 2006. Radio tracking by the South of England Kite Group at this time did not detect Speedy. However, the battery on his transmitter would have been losing power therefore he could only be detected by a visual sighting. One such report was received in March 2007 when a photograph confirmed that Speedy was in the Harrogate area of Yorkshire!

Speedy bred with an untagged female in Yorkshire. They successfully raised three chicks that fledged in July 2007.

In spring 2008 Speedy and his mate bred successfully for a second consecutive year. They managed to raise an incredible four chicks, all of which fledged in July 2008.

Location as of July 2009:

Near Harrogate, Yorkshire

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Name:

Scarlet

Wing Tag:

2

Adopted by:

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Female

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Scarlet is the greatest documented traveller of any of the kites released.  A few weeks after release in September 2004, she was reported at Gigrin Farm feeding station, in mid-Wales.  On 12th March 2005 she was detected in the Chilterns; by 31st March 2005 she was back in Gateshead!  In early April, she was tracked heading south near Catterick in north Yorkshire.  She returned to Gateshead by 6th April, disappeared, returned briefly in June and then left again.  In early August 2005, she was found with the Yorkshire red kites near the Harewood Estate, to the north of Leeds.  She has been reported there ever since. During March and April 2006, Scarlet was seen displaying with an untagged male who she mated with and successfully raised two chicks while nesting in a larch tree.  Both chicks fledged in late July 2006.

Scarlet bred successfully for a second consecutive year in Yorkshire raising one chick that fledged in July 2007.

In spring 2008 Scarlet and her mate bred successfully for a third consecutive year. They raised two chicks that fledged in July 2008.

Location as of July 2009:

Harewood Estate, Yorkshire

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Name:

Scarlet Feather

Wing Tag:

3

Adopted by:

Blaydon West Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Scarlet Feather spent the majority of his time in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  In early summer 2005, he was seen visiting the kite release pens, often with WT1, calling to the young kites.  In late May 2005, he moved south more than 35 miles and joined WT5 in Teesdale.  They were joined in August by WT23.  Scarlet Feather stayed until 19th September when he was noted leaving Teesdale at 11.30am and flying over High Spen at 12.45 on the same morning.  (A journey of over 35 miles in less than 1hour 15minutes.)  He spent the winter feeding and roosting in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn. In February 2006, he was regularly noted over the Gibside estate, and was seen in April 2006, mating with WT54, a female kite released in 2005. He spent some of his summer months in Teesdale with other kites that had settled there.  He was last detected on 8th June 2006, near Eggleston.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Twilight

Wing Tag:

4

Adopted by:

Washingwell Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Twilight spent most of his first nine months in Gateshead’s lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  In April 2005, he departed the area. He was last noted, being mobbed by crows, in the Iveston area, near Lanchester, Co Durham on 11th April 2005. Twilight's transitter signal was detected in Gateshead on 30th Oct 2006. However, this is an unconfirmed report.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Phoenix

Wing Tag:

5

Adopted by:

Ryton Community Junior School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Phoenix began travelling from Gateshead three days after release when he was reported flying over Scotswood in Newcastle.  He returned briefly to the Lower Derwent Valley, before heading south to the Derwent Reservoir where he stayed for much of August.  By early September, he travelled to Hamsterley Forest and onwards to Teesdale, where he remained.  In early June 2005, he was joined by WT3 (a male) followed by WT23 (a female) in August.  WT3 left in September and was replaced in October by a female, WT57.    All three kites foraged and roosted together between the villages of Eggleston and Kinninvie over the winter. They wer also seen flying with buzzards. Phoenix and WT57 spent the most time together and were seen inspecting an old crow’s nest in November 2005 and displaying over woodland in March/April 2006 showing interest in a buzzard’s old nest. He has since been identified paired with WT57! The two paired up and successfully raised two chicks that fledged in late July 2006. He was last detected on 8th June 2006, near Eggleston.

Sadly, in late May 2007, Phoenix was fatally injured in a road traffic accident. He was found by a road between Hamsterley and Witton-le-Wear, approximately seven miles north of his usual Teesdale haunts. Despite the valiant efforts of up to 15 people in the Teesdale area, it was not possible to save Phoenix. Sadly, due to the extent and severity of his injuries, Phoenix had to be euthanased.

Location as of July 2009:

DECEASED

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Name:

Flame

Wing Tag:

6

Adopted by:

Highfield Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Flame rarely moved from the lower Derwent valley.  In late June 2005, he was seen at Ruffside, close to the Derwent Reservoir but he was back in the lower Derwent valley from early July.  He was seen spending time with WT7 in spring 2005 and playing ‘uncle’ with several juveniles released in summer 2005.  From mid January 2006, Flame paired up with WT19. They were regularly seen together around Rowlands Gill.  In early April 2006, they built a nest locally, but sadly, their nesting attempt failed as the strong winds in May blew their nest out of the tree!

Flame and Ruby (WT19) built a new nest in spring 2007, thankfully this time the nest remained in the tree! They successfully raised one chick that fledged in late July 2007. The chick was fitted with a leg ring and wing tags A2.

Flame and Ruby bred successfully for a second successive year, raising one chick. The chick was fitted with a leg ring and wing tags B6. WTB6 fledged in July 2008.

On 28th July 2008, Flame was seen at Gibside National Trust estate perched in a tree with juvenile, B6.

On 12th November 2008, Flame was observed drinking from a pool near Sherburn Towers housing estate in Rowlands Gill, Gateshead.

On 17th March 2009, Flame was seen displaying with mate WT19 in Rowlands Gill.

Location as of July 2009:

lower Derwent valley, Gateshead

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Name:

Scarlet Flame        

Wing Tag:

7

Adopted by:

Rowlands Gill Junior School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Female

Release Date:

15th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

WT7 spent much of her first autumn and winter in the lower Derwent valley and the Barlow Burn making a few short journeys into the Tyne valley towards Prudhoe and Ovington. In spring 2005, she seemed to have paired off with WT6, however, this did not last long and she left the area on 13th May 2005.  She was detected back in the lower Derwent valley in November 2005 and she was not detected again until 14th December 2006 when she returned to Gateshead. She has not been detected since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Rufus

Wing Tag:

8

Adopted by:

Heworth Grange Comprehensive School, Gateshead 

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

15th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Rufus spent most of his first autumn and winter in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn. In spring 2005, he paired up with WT19, displaying above woodland where they set up a territory.  They did not breed but built a nest on the ground!  Rufus left the Lower Derwent valley in June 2005, and was noted at the Derwent Reservoir and then close to Stainton village, nr. Barnard Castle a few days later.  He returned to Rowlands Gill in July 2005.  In August 2005, his signal was detected heading up the Tyne Valley and again on 5th September.  He returned to Gateshead April 2006 then was not seen again until a report in February 2007 confirmed Rufus was in Doune, in central Scotland. He has not been detected since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Marley’s Flame

Wing Tag:

9

Adopted by:

Marley Hill Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Marley’s Flame spent most of his time in the lower Derwent valley and the Barlow Burn. He favoured Barlow Fell and Barlow village and remained in this area throughout much of the spring and summer of 2005.  In late May 2005, reports were received of a kite that was ‘clipped’ by a car on Barlow Fell.  According to the driver, the bird received a glancing blow but flew away, apparently uninjured.  It was probably Marley’s Flame, and from this date, his radio transmitter began to develop an intermittent fault, which has since stopped working completely.  From wing tag sighting reports, he was seen over Shotley Bridge in June 2005, and then returned to the lower Derwent valley and was seen in September 2005. In April 2006, a visual sighting confirmed that Marley’s Flame was in the lower Derwent valley.

He has not been detected since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Flash

Wing Tag:

10

Adopted by:

Winlaton West Lane Community Primary School, Gateshead     

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Flash spent his first few weeks after release in the lower Derwent valley.  On the 31st August 2004, he was tracked in the Tyne valley, near Prudhoe.  In early October 2004, his transmitter frequency was tracked to an area in Tynedale and did not change location or from a flying signal indicating that the bird might be dead.  Eventually his ‘corpse’ was located and, with Police assistance, recovered.  Flash’s body was found within 60cm of rabbit and pheasant carcasses and poisoning was suspected.  The remains of the kite were sent for analysis and a Police investigation commenced.  A few days before Christmas 2004, confirmation was received that Flash had been poisoned using Carbofuran (a pesticide).  On 28th January 2005, Flash’s death was announced at a press conference at Gateshead Civic Centre which was followed by a huge wave of public concern about this illegal act and the story was very extensively covered in the media.

Location as of July 2009:

DECEASED

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Name:

Spark

Wing Tag:

11

Adopted by:

Harlow Green Junior School, Gateshead (now Harlow Green Primary School)

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Spark spent his first few weeks after release in the lower Derwent valley.  In August he ventured east and unfortunately became the victim of a road traffic accident on the A1 in the Team Valley.  Veterinary examination revealed a cracked wing bone and after six months of rehabilitation was released back to the wild on 19th April 2005.  Unfortunately, he was taken back into captivity a few days later, after being picked up by a member of the public.  After a further two weeks of rehabilitation, and an attempted ‘soft –release’, with ongoing access to food and an aviary, he was eventually re-captured and taken for further examination and treatment to the London Zoo animal hospital. Here, he was found to have a severe ‘leg’ infection (nothing to do with the original injuries) and in July, after treatment, was recovering well.  In late July 2005, he returned to the northeast for further rehabilitation in captivity.  In autumn 2005, he was joined in his aviary by WT78, a female also requiring rehabilitation. It was hoped, with regular exercise, that Spark's flight muscles would build up sufficiently so he could be released back to the wild. Sadly, Spark died of natural causes in mid-June 2007.

Location as of July 2009:

DECEASED

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Name:

Thunderbolt

Wing Tag:

12

Adopted by:

Fellside Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

12th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Thunderbolt spent most of his first autumn and winter in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  He ventured near Tanfield in April 2005 and then disappeared from the area in mid-May, along with several other kites. He was noted again in the Barlow Burn in late June 2005, and after another short period of absence, he re-appeared, albeit briefly, near Hamsterley Mill in the Derwent valley on 11th July 2005.  Another brief visit on 2nd October 2005 was followed by no detections since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Lightning

Wing Tag:

13

Adopted by:

Bill Quay Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

For the first two months after release, Lightning spent most of his time in the Team Valley area, feeding and roosting around Kibblesworth, Lamesley and Watergate Forest Park, often seen with WT14 (a female).  By mid-October 2004, he had disappeared from the local area. 

Lightning was spotted in February 2005 in the Wynyard Estate when a local bird watcher read his Wing Tags.  Reports had been received over that winter of a kite in the Trimdon Grange area (not far from Wynyard), which is likely to have been Lightning.  He was detected again in March 2005 where he was noted near Rushyford, County Durham.  During this month, he was noted heading up the Wear Valley with sightings at Witton-le-Wear, Fir Tree and then into the Derwent Valley near Waskerley on 21st March 2005. 

Reports were then received between the end of March and July 2005 of a kite in Northumberland with sightings near Otterburn and near Wooler.  Lightning has since been detected back in the lower Derwent valley in August 2005. 

Lightning was detected on 18th April 2006 in the Blanchland area and again in Barlow Burn on 30th October 2006. Lightning was not detected for several months until a report in mid-February 2007 confirmed he was near Barlow. This has been followed by no detections since

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Scarlet Birtley Beast

Wing Tag:

14

Adopted by:

Birtley East Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Female

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

For the first three months after release, Scarlet Birtley Beast was seen regularly in the Team Valley area with sightings near Sunniside, Lamesley, Ravensworth estate and Watergate Forest Park.  She was often in the company of WT13.  In October 2004, she was detected at Warden Law, near Houghton-le-Spring with WT1 and four kites from outside the region.  She was regularly detected back in the Team Valley until January 2005 when she was found close to Seghill/Backworth, in North Tyneside.  She remained here until April 2005, when she moved west of Newcastle to the Heddon-on-the-Wall and Ponteland area.  Subsequent reports of a kite near Newcastle Airport, Woolsington and over Cramlington (on 26th June 2005) probably refer to this bird.  She was detected briefly in October 2005 and has not been detected since.

However, in spring 2007, a photograph was taken of a kite at Saughtree in the Scottish borders, north west of Kielder. The kite had pink and yellow wing tags so was definitely a Northern kite. The numbers on the wing tags were not clear on the photograph so the photograph was sent away to be analysed. Unfortunately, the results of the analysis were inconclusive, however, the consensus is that the number on the wing tags is most likely to be 14. This has been followed by no detections since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

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Name:

Red Philip

Wing Tag:

15

Adopted by:

St. Philip Neri R.C. Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Red Philip has spent most of his time in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  He was briefly taken into captivity in August 2004, when he was thought to be injured.  After examination showed he was fit and well, he was released back to the wild the next day.  In spring 2005, he set up a first year territory with WT16, but did not breed. In late May he moved out of the area but was back on 8th July, over Rowlands Gill as 2005’s first young kites were released into the Derwent valley.  He then disappeared from the area again but returned in September and has stayed locally since.  In November 2005, it was noted that his radio transmitter had stopped working but his wing tags have been read indicating his health and presence. In April 2006, it was discovered he had paired up once again with Flag, WT16.  They successfully built a nest, laid eggs and, in late May, hatched the first red kite chicks in northeast England for nearly 200 years! One chick was successfully raised and fledged the nest in late July 2006.  The young chick has since been named 'Geordie'.

Flag and Red Philip successfully bred again. In spring 2007 they built a nest in the Derwent Walk Country Park, approximately 350 metres northwest of their 2006 nest site. Two chicks were successfully raised which fledged in mid-July 2007. Both chicks have been fitted with wing tags A3 & A4 respectively and leg rings.

Flag and Red Philip bred successfully for a third consecutive year. In spring 2008 they built a new nest in the Derwent Walk Country Park, about 60-70 metres downstream from their 2007 nest. They raised two chicks that have been fitted with leg rings and wing tags B7 and B8 respectively. Both chicks fledged in July 2008. One of Flag and Red Philip's chicks from 2007 bred successfully at one year old! In spring 2008, WTA4 (Farra Flame) was seen displaying with WT71 (Sky Dancer) they went on to build a nest together and had two chicks, one of which was raised to fledging. This chick has been fitted with a leg ring and wing tags B9 and fledged in July 2008. WTA4 therefore made WT15 and WT16 grandparents at the ripe old age of four years old!

During March 2009, Red Philip and mate WT16 refurbished their 2008 nest.

Location as of July 2009:

Lower Derwent valley, Gateshead

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Name:

Flag

Wing Tag:

16

Adopted by:

Oakfield Infants School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Female

Release Date:

19th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Flag has spent most of her time in the Lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  She has shown a particular liking for the Barlow Burn area, where she spent much of her daytimes foraging in local pastures. In spring 2005, she set up a territory with WT15, but did not breed.  In July 2005, she was recorded in the Yorkshire red kite release area, near the Harewood Estate.  She soon returned to Gateshead and has stayed since. In April 2006, it was discovered she had paired up once again with Red Philip, WT15.  They successfully built a nest, laid eggs and, in late May, hatched the first red kite chicks in northeast England for nearly 200 years!One chick was successfully raised and fledged the nest in late July 2006.  The young chick has since been named 'Geordie'.

Flag and Red Philip successfully bred again. In spring 2007 they built a nest in the Derwent Walk Country Park, approximately 350 metres northwest of their 2006 nest site. Two chicks were successfully raised which fledged in mid-July 2007. Both chicks have been fitted with wing tags A3 & A4 respectively and leg rings.

On 10th September 2007, Flag was observed foraging in a cut hay field, just south of Gibside, with seven other kites.

Flag and Red Philip bred successfully for a third consecutive year. In spring 2008 they built a new nest in the Derwent Walk Country Park, about 60-70 metres downstream from their 2007 nest. They raised two chicks that have been fitted with leg rings and wing tags B7 and B8 respectively. Both chicks fledged in July 2008. One of Flag and Red Philip's chicks from 2007 bred successfully at one year old! In spring 2008, WTA4 (Farra Flame) was seen displaying with WT71 (Sky Dancer) they went on to build a nest together and had two chicks, one of which was raised to fledging. This chick has been fitted with a leg ring and wing tags B9 and fledged in July 2008. WTA4 therefore made WT15 and WT16 grandparents at the ripe old age of four years old!

During March 2009, Flag and mate WT15 refurbished their 2008 nest.

Location as of July 2009:

lower Derwent valley, Gateshead

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Name:

Squeaker

Wing Tag:

17

Adopted by:

St. Joseph’s Catholic Junior School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

26th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Squeaker (so named as he often squeaked) was the smallest of the young kites released in 2004 and initially required special care at the Project Manager’s house to ensure the other kites did not bully him and that he got some food.  After a few days, he was placed in the aviaries with other young birds.  He was released and spent his first two months in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  On 8th October 2004, a member of the public found him with a badly injured wing in the Barlow Burn and circumstances suggested a road traffic accident, close to Pawston Birks. Sadly, after inspection and initial treatment by local vets, it was determined that the injury was not treatable and the bird had to be destroyed.

Location as of July 2009:

DECEASED

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Name:

Zeus

Wing Tag:

18

Adopted by:

Front Street Community Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

26th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Zeus has spent most of his time in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  Between April and June 2005, he was recorded further afield with sightings reported from the Derwent Reservoir, Muggleswick, upstream of Shotley Bridge and near Waskerley.  On 15th July 2005, he was reported at  Snod’s Edge, near Shotley Bridge and later the same day flying south past Spennymoor in County Durham.  By the end of October, he had returned to Gateshead.  In January 2006, it was noted that his transmitter signal was weakening, indicating the battery power was diminishing. Zeus was detected in March and June 2006 in the lower Derwent valley.

Zeus was not detected again for over two years! On 24th October 2008, a photograph was taken of Zeus, he was near Beverley in East Yorkshire.

Location as of July 2009:

East Yorkshire

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Name:

Ruby  

Wing Tag:

19

Adopted by:

Lingey House Primary School, Gateshead

Male/Female: 

Female

Release Date:

26th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Since release, Ruby has spent most of her time in the lower Derwent valley and Barlow Burn.  In spring 2005, she paired up with WT8, displaying above woodland where they set up a territory.  They did not breed but built a nest on the ground!  She visited ‘Crooked Oak’ near Muggleswick in June 2005 but otherwise has spent her time in Gateshead.  In mid January 2006, Ruby paired up with WT6.  They are regularly seen together around Rowlands Gill and in early April was seen carrying twigs and displaying above woodland. In mid January 2006, Ruby paired up with WT6.They built a nest but, unfortunately, in May it was blown out of the tree by strong winds.

Summer 2007 proved to be third time lucky for Ruby, having built a nest in 2005 & 2006 she finally managed to build a nest that stood the test of time and, along with her mate Flame (WT6), successfully raised a chick! The chick, which has been fitted with a leg ring and wing tags A2, fledged in late July 2007.

Ruby and Flame bred successfully for a second successive year, raising one chick. The chick has been fitted with a leg ring and wing tags B6. WTB6 fledged in July 2008.

On 2nd October 2008, Ruby was seen near Sherburn Towers housing estate in Rowlands Gill, Gateshead.

On 17th March 2009, Ruby was seen displaying with mate WT6 in Rowlands Gill.

Location as of July 2009:

Lower Derwent valley, Gateshead

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Name:

Spike

Wing Tag:

20

Adopted by:

Ryton Community Infant School

Male/Female: 

Male

Release Date:

26th July 2004

Key Activities up to July 2009:

Spike spent most of his first autumn and winter in the lower Derwent valley and in late winter 2004, he was roosting near Sherburn Tower Farm, Rowlands Gill. He was recorded at the Derwent Reservoir in April 2005 and was last reported in the lower Derwent valley in May 2005.  He briefly returned to Rowlands Gill in October 2005 and was detected again at the top of the Derwent valley on 3rd January 2006.

He has not been detected since.

Location as of July 2009:

Unknown

 

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