Bird Report - September 2015

There has been an abundance of Swallows during much of September but as the month wears on less are to be seen. Juveniles are easily spotted as they have shorter tails. Some swallows manage three broods in Orkney's short summer so these birds will be later setting off for their winter quarters in Africa.

Nancy Scott from Picklefield reports that the three House Martin nests have been successful and she has enjoyed seeing the birds flying around. Martins are identified by a white rump and shorter tail.

Also numerous during the month have been Pied Wagtails which have been on the beaches, on fence-posts, in gardens, so impossible to miss.

Also on the move are Wheatears and Meadow Pipits which are often spotted together as they prepare to leave Orkney for their winter quarters. I saw a nice group of both varieties on the road up to Seatter on September 18th. The Wheatear is another bird with a white rump and looks handsome when flying from fencepost to fencepost.

Flocks of Starlings are very noticeable now as birds move into Orkney for the winter. Lovely to watch their swirling flight.

Greylag Geese are back also, I expect much to farmers' despair! A large flock was calling over Newark, and St. Peter's Pool is a favourite spot also.

I had a run to the Gloup car park during the month and a decent sized flock of Lapwings were in a nearby field. Travelling on, 2 male Pheasants were passing the time of day.

Another juvenile Red-backed Shrike had been reported on the track going down to Sandside Bay and this was still obligingly sat on the wire.

We had our first Robin of the season on September 19th. I am sure many more will follow.

At this time of year migrant birds are passing through the parish. Morris Rendall reports a Stonechat at the Mull Head car park, a Yellow-browed Warbler at the East Denwick plantation , also a Redstart and another Yellow-browed Warbler at the lighthouse corner quarry garden.

Alan Leitch was at the East Denwick plantation on the 24th, reporting 2 Yellow-browed warblers and a Barred Warbler.

October should see more migrants heading our way to keep a close watch in the bushes!

Pauline Wilson