Birdlife In Deerness - April 2014
It's nice to see the lighter nights with us once more and spring heralds more birds visiting our shores, while others leave for their breeding quarters.
Geese will be leaving this month but I was interested to see a flock of about 100 in the field next to Russell & Alison Aitken's new house on the Geo Road. Closer inspection found 60 Greylags but also about 40 Pinkfooted Geese.
Another bird soon to be departing is the Golden Plover and it was a magnificent sight in the field opposite Seatter with approximately 800 making themselves at home.
A walk at Newark Bay was accompanied by a singing Skylark while 5 Redshanks and plenty of Oystercatchers searched for food. I counted 3 Pied Wagtails and, looking out to sea, I saw 6 Long-tailed ducks swimming quite close to the shore.
Another day I had a walk down the track at Gritley; once again Skylarks were singing and Curlews made their distinctive burbling call. There was a flock of Lapwing, 2 Oystercatchers and about 100 Golden Plovers. Three more Pied Wagtails also Meadow Pipits were darting about the fencing as I progressed.
At Sunnybank we have been visited by a variety of birds, with 2 Redwing in the front field. A male and a female Chaffinch were pecking around the back lawn, then I was delighted to briefly see a Goldfinch but this was soon on its way again. Our regular Greenfinches were there of course plus a Wren, and a Robin has been present for a few days. I scatter a few Sunflower seeds daily and find that these certainly attract the finches. We have even been known to have Hawfinches at this time of year but not this April so far.
Watch out for Wagtails, Wheatears, Meadow Pipits, also there will be rarer birds passing through the parish now.
Birds reported in Deerness recently are: St. Peter's Pool: 56 Bar tailed godwits (a good few in summer plumage),1 Black tailed godwit with them;22 knot (some changing plumage)
East Denwick Plantation 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush and a Redwing. A male Stonechat was along the track to the Gloup. A Wheatear along the road to Newark Bay. Photo of Wheatear by Ian Cunningham.
Mull Head Visitor Centre saw a Goldcrest in the bushes, and 2 Shelduck were in a nearby field; 20 fast-flying Snipe along the road to the Gloup.
I was pleased to hear about the Stonechat as this bird was almost wiped out in the bad winter of a couple of years ago. The photo of the Stonechat is by Ian Cunningham.
So there are plenty of birds out there for us all to see just now.