Bird Report - November 2015

Here is the latest Bird Report from Pauline Wilson..................... we must say a very big and special THANK YOU to Pauline for her efforts every month in providing us with such interesting and informative articles, and all the bonny pictutes! It is greatly appreciated, Pauline!


After the excitement of all the migrant birds during October, November has been just the opposite with not much for me to report from the parish.

Early in the month I was driving up from The Links when a Merlin darted right past the front of the car. This is the smallest of our raptors.

On the same day I visited Skaill and once again saw a small flock of Linnets along the road - this species can often be found in this area and it is nice to see them, particularly the males with their red breasts.

I went down to Sandside beach to do my beached birds report and was quite surprised to see a late Wheatear moving along the shoreline. A friend was also at Sandside and he reported a Jack Snipe which is the rarer cousin of the more common Snipe. I love to see snipe with their ridiculously long beaks and I look forward to hearing their distinctive 'drumming' when spring comes around.

On November 14th I spotted two Whooper Swans in a field when I was on my way to the Deerness Hall. Quite a lot of Whoopers have been seen this autumn/winter.

Looking out of our back window on November 20th I was rewarded with the sight of a Dunnock pecking around under the feeder. This is the second we have had in just a few weeks. Of course, Robins are now to be seen in gardens and I am happy to report that we have had one for several weeks now but this is possibly not the same bird as I would imagine they will be moving around. A Wren has also graced us with its presence - such a tough little bird with a loud voice!

It was great to see a Short-eared Owl flying past the house, up the garden and heading in the direction of Quoybelloch. I have not seen so many owls recently so this one was a bonus.

Rooks are back in Deerness again this winter. I regularly see a big flock flying back and forth and they are particularly fond of Keith Eunson's field at the bottom of Halley Road.

As usual the birdwatchers have been out and about in Deerness. Ian Cunningham reports the following: St Peter's Pool on ebbing tide: 12 black tailed Godwits, 36 knot, 40 dunlin, 55 oystercatchers, 23 ringed plovers, 2 whoopers. Newark Slip: 26 turnstones, 3 sanderling, 6 purple sandpipers. Sandside Bay: 2 sanderling 6 snipe, 40 gannets headed South.

Morris Rendall: Still a good few Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds about. Other birds were: the bush at the Mull Head visitor centre 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Stonechats. East Denwick Plantation 2 Goldcrest 1 Chiffchaff. Barns of Ayre 1 Snow Bunting. Grind 1 Short-eared Owl.

Pauline Wilson