Friends of St Ninian's

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  • Images of Deerness 2015 Calendar



    The Images of Deerness Calendar 2015 is now available to buy! Priced at £6.50, you can get it from Deerness Stores, The Reel, The Longship, We Frame It, Wm. Shearers or from Thelma Bruce at one of her many sales.

    It is also available by post - please send a cheque for £7.67 (including £1.17 p&p) to Denise Brown, Old Schoolhouse, Deerness, Orkney KW17 2QH

    It is crammed full of bonnie Deerness pictures, so hurry while stocks last!

Deerness News

  • Bird Report - August 2104


    With the year on the wane the breeding season is just about over, although we still have young

    House-sparrows, Greenfinches and Blackbirds begging for food from their parents. Also, I was

    surprised to find part of a house-sparrow eggshell on August 21st which seems quite late. 2014 has

    been a good breeding year for the birds as our mixed flock at Sunnybank can testify. A Wren in our

    plantation gave added interest.

    Easily seen just now are Pied Wagtails - adults and juveniles - which will be moving on for the winter.

    (photo of Pied Wagtail by Pauline Wilson). On August 3rd at Newark Bay I watched an adult jump

    in the air to catch insects to feed to its offspring. (Daisy Aitken reports there were a number of

    this species at the Geo later in the month). Also on this day two Arctic Terns were diving in the sea

    searching for sandeels. Four Hooded Crows were in Russell's field so I assumed these were a family


    August is the month when Jellyfish appear on our shores and I have seen a couple of the Common

    Blue species at Newark - these sting so beware!

    A feature of some of my recent walks have been Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. I saw this brightly-
    coloured species down the Gritley track then two at Newark. Another was flying amongst the

    flowers down the peat road while, at the same time, a splendid pale grey Hen Harrier was hunting in

    the fields.

    On another walk I reached the bottom of the track that leads from opposite Hacco down to the

    shore and was lucky to see a Short-eared Owl alight on a fencepost then was even luckier when

    another appeared and landed not too far away. I wondered if one was a juvenile on an outing with

    its parent.

    On another walk at Newark on August 11th there were 4 Linnets tucking into the burdock in Russell's

    field. Overhead flew a party of about 15 Terns - to me they looked a bit bigger than Arctics and could

    have been Sandwich Terns but too far away for me to positively identify.

    Migrating birds will be thinking of making a move soon. I have seen a Wheatear at Newark and there

    were another two on the fence near Ashley Rosie's. Accompanying them were a handful of Meadow

    Pipits and, of course, Pied Wagtails.


    Swallows are noticeable just now. On a walk to Deerness Stores there were at least 20 flying around

    the Eastersands area. Some will have raised 3 broods over the summer so won't be ready to leave

    our shores just yet.

    Keith Hague is seen regularly spotting birds around the parish and he recently reported some rarer

    species: 4 Greenshanks and 4 Ruff at Braebuster Ness , a Stonechat at Halley and 51 Bar-tailed

    Godwits at St. Peter's Pool.

    With the year wearing on more migrants will be passing through Deerness so look extra carefully in

    the bushes for any rarities!



Welcome to our website!

Drawing of St Ninian's, Deerness by Isobel GardnerWelcome to The Friends of St Ninian’s website.  We aim to keep you informed not only about our organisation, its work and events, but also to open up the life and times of the Orkney parish of Deerness to local folk and visitors alike, whether in person, or across the world-wide web.

The photographs on this website show you a variety of landscapes and seascapes of Deerness – out to Copinsay, to the North Isles, Auskerry and back across to the rest of Mainland Orkney.  Enjoy these images, and please add more to the photo gallery.

Photo © Donna Eunson

  • Do you live in Deerness and want to advertise your business?
  • Did your forebears come from Deerness and you want to know more?
  • Have you an event in Deerness to promote, or a photo to share or a question to ask?

We look forward very much to your participation in this website.



Join the Friends of St Ninian’s and help support our work in looking after the Lower Kirk and exploring the heritage and culture of Deerness. We welcome membership from Deerness folk, Deerness-connected folk and folk who simply want to support The Friends of St Ninian's because it's a worthwhile endeavour.

Click here to download a membership form.

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