Friends of St Ninian's

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Deerness News

  • Bird Report March 2014

    Paying a visit to Newark Bay to do a beached birds report I was faced with an apparently empty beach, but how wrong can you be as a closer look quickly revealed plenty of activity. Heading over the water were 60 Lapwing - a nice sighting of these handsome birds. I was soon aware of a Skylark singing from one of the fields and, looking seawards again, two Greater Black-backed Gulls were taking a dip. In the distance I could see 25 Oystercatchers on the beach near the slip. Making my way further along I came across 2 Hooded Crows poking amongst the tangles and almost missed the few Rock Pipits which were well camouflaged pecking around. Unusually, there was a lone Turnstone at the water's edge. I disturbed a Pied Wagtail which flew off towards the sea. Following its path I noticed several Common Gulls on the water also 5 Long-tailed Ducks. Heading back along the path there were 2 Greylag Geese in Russell's field.

    Signs of spring are now obvious - bonny Celandines are starting to flower; we have Frogspawn in the garden pond; the grass is growing.

    Many birds will be busy making nests (in fact Ravens will already be feeding young). I noticed one of our resident Starlings carrying nesting material (photo of Starling nest by Pauline Wilson) and the Greenfinches are now resplendent in breeding plumage.

    I have heard my first Skylark of the year here at Sunnybank; a Robin and a Songthrush have been present for a few days; a few early Pied Wagtails are now to be seen.

    Other sightings from around the parish include a Merlin which was making its presence felt; 500 Golden Plovers were reported on the mud at St. Peter's Pool; there are still plenty of Greylag Geese in the fields - a notable flock near Grind was present for a few days and I saw several in a field while I was heading down to Sandside. I suspect we'll be seeing these birds for a couple of weeks yet.

    In spite of the improving temperatures, garden birds will still be happy to visit feeders so please continue to put out peanuts, seed, apples to help them through the busy breeding season.


    Starling nest

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

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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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