Bird Report - May 2015

Watch out for Wheatears, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Swallows - all easily seen just now. Black-headed Gulls are also noticeable with their smart dark chocolate-coloured heads.

I was watching a Wheatear at Quoybelloch on May 8th as it poked around for some considerable time.

Breeding is in full swing just now. A Wren is making its presence felt here at Sunnybank and I heard one at Sandside Bay just today.

Starlings are being particularly difficult this year. We have two nest boxes on the garage wall and already there are young in one of them. However, nesting sites must be at a premium this year for, whenever the garage door is opened, in flies a Starling!

There is a Blackbird on a nest in the goat-house so we are being careful not to disturb her.

Oystercatchers are to be seen in pairs and, just today, I spotted a Lapwing with a juvenile which was trying to hide from my gaze!

I visited the Gloup today and noticed lots of Linnets flying around and landing on the fence as I drove along the road. I was able to admire the red breasts of the males of the species. I have rarely seen so many Linnets where they weren't part of a flock. Also noticeable were the many Swallows dipping and diving. They will be looking for nesting places in the barns and buildings. Just over the fence it was nice to see a Skylark on the ground rather than serenading us from the air.

As I approached the Gloup a dozen Rock Doves flew out. I wonder if they have nests in there?

A Black Guillemot (or Tystie) flew the length of the Gloup and landed just below where I was stood so I could clearly see the bird's red gape as it opened its beak. These birds breed in the Gloup, along with Shags. Sidney Foubister took a boatload of people into the Gloup then up the coast to Mull Head and they saw Guillemots, Razorbills - and the bird everyone wants to see - Puffins.

A friend took a walk at Mull Head early in May and was surprised to see 6 Jackdaws close to the trig point. He was disappointed to see only a few Auks (Guillemots, Razorbills, etc) and only 2 Kittiwakes. A couple of Bonxies were on patrol and plenty of Meadow Pipits were to be seen.

There should be rarer birds passing through Deerness so keep a look out.

Pauline Wilson