Bird Report - September 2014
St Ninian's Bird Report - September 2014
One of our most common birds gives us a pointer to the fact that the year is wearing on, namely the Starling, as they are now acquiring their winter coats and this year's juveniles are shedding their brown plumage for the more familiar spotted garb. Speaking of juveniles, we have quite a number of young Blackbirds around at Sunnybank so they must have had a successful breeding season.
As I made my way down to Newark early in the month I noted a Wheatear on the fencepost, and several more were to follow as the month wore on as they get ready to leave our shores for the winter.
On reaching Newark 3 Pied Wagtails and 2 Rock Pipits were on the beach while 6 Swallows were swooping overhead. 6 Sanderling were at the water's edge. Walking back along the path a Red Admiral Butterfly was flitting amongst the vegetation. Lovely to see around 20 Twite feeding on sow thistles at the top of the shore.
The following day I was at Sandside Bay for a beached birds survey and, once again, 3 Pied Wagtails were in evidence. Also on the beach were 2 Oystercatchers (which will probably spend the winter further south) a single Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Redshank keeping each other company. Further along yet another Wheatear posed on Sidney's boat slip
I have seen a variety of raptors during the month starting with a Hen Harrier which was out and about at Sunnybank on the 1st; on the 15th I watched a Merlin darting past Little Halley and the day after a Kestrel hovered in the sky near Ashley Rosie's.
Swallows have been very much in evidence. Quite a number have been flying around Keith Eunson's oat crop - the sight and sounds of Swallows seem to abound as they feed so as to be ready for the long journey ahead of them.
A Walk down the track from Hacco to the shore was quite productive, starting with a flock of 150 Curlew, then 12 Golden Plover flew by. Once again, lots of Swallows, a notable number of Meadow Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtails and a couple of Wheatear - I had a lovely view as one landed on a fencepost just a few feet away from me.
Deerness is a magnet for serious birdwatchers during the migrants season and recently several rarer birds have been reported in our parish:
A Pectoral Sandpiper opposite the pool at the Barns of Ayre;
A Red-breasted Flycatcher at the East Denwick Plantation;
At Halley several migrants - Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Siskin;
2 Whinchat in the bushes in front of the Mull Head visitor centre;
An eagle-eyed birder managed to spot an American Golden Plover amongst a flock of 400 in a field below Creya.
Finally . . . .
Watch out for Fieldfare coming in from Scandinavia and Siberia, Redwing arriving from Northern and Easter Europe and Golden Plover flocks which are here already.