Bird Report - November 2014
Before we make a start on November's birds, Isobel Gardner rang me to say it had slipped her mind to report a Grey Phalarope at the Geo, Newark. In December 2007 there was a Grey Phalarope which remained at the Geo for several days and had a succession of admirers coming to see it - I even managed to record a short film of the little bird.
Photo of Grey Phalarope by Pauline Wilson.
November's main theme has been 'flocks'. When I did my beached birds survey at Sandside there were hundreds of Starlings feeding among the tangles and lots more were perched on the hydro wires. Just below Creya 120 Greylag Geese were feeding in the field.
On the beach I watched 12 Turnstones and a single Purple Sandpiper resting on the rocks while - ever busy - a Wren was investigating tussocks at the back of the beach.
On November 16th a group of 16 Fieldfares flew over Deerness Stores making their 'chuckling' sound as they went. Reaching home I found 80 Rooks in the field at Sunnybank. A lot of juveniles were among them; they haven't yet acquired the distinctive grey colouring around the beak. These corvids have been hanging around various locations in the parish for a few weeks.
November 4th saw 100 Rock Doves in our paddock while, the field down from the Deerness shop held a huge flock of Starlings and a big group of Greylags. As I took Daisy a drive round Deerness we spotted yet another big flock of birds, this time Common Gulls enjoying the flooded conditions in the field opposite Braemar.
A drive down the road to Newark produced 6 Snipe flying off, 20 Rooks were in the field with a flock of Geese flying over Newark. By their high-pitched sound they included Pinkfooted Geese among their numbers.
On November 18th a small bird flew out of the bushes at Daisy Aitken's. This turned out to be a tiny Goldcrest. Isobel Gardner also reported a male Goldcrest in her garden so keep an eye out for these charismatic visitors.
As usual at this time of year several rarer birds have been reported in Deerness:
There was a Redstart at Newark Bay on November 4th;
A Mistle Thrush was at Diamonds;
A Jack Snipe was seen near the Covenanters Memorial with another at Deer Sound along with 47 Snipe; 13 Snow Buntings were near here also;
3 Whooper Swans near Diamonds;
10 Redwing by Halley Farm with lots of Blackbirds;
Finally, a few Waxwings are now being reported so it's time to put out the apples and have binoculars close to hand to view these stunning winter visitors.