Bird Report - May 2016
Our feeding of the birds in the back garden here at Sunnybank has resulted in some extra visitors
this month with Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull and Hooded Crow paying visits. I know these are not
the most popular birds but, when seen at close quarters, they are all very striking - I just hope they
won't bring all their second cousins along also! The Collared Doves seem a fixture with us now, two
or three regularly visiting. The Wren nest in the byre is occupied so I am trying to keep a low profile
until the eggs are hatched.
I spotted two bedraggled birds on the fence at the front of the house on the 17th and these turned
out to be Linnets. We had another Linnet on the 20th, this one looking a lot bonnier. Also on the
20th I heard a Cuckoo calling from the Halley Road area, although this must have been on the move
as all was quiet soon after.
My monthly beached birds visit to Newark Bay produced 6 Black-headed Gulls riding the waves
while one Black Guillemot (Tystie) was swimming at sea. A nice mixed flock of waders was on the
shore at the water's edge - Ringed Plovers, Dunlin (with their black front) and Sanderling wheeling
Moving on to Sandside Bay a Skylark's song accompanied my walk down to the beach; a Pied
Wagtail was on a post so possibly a nest nearby. On the beach 40 Oystercatchers were chilling out -
this must be a place of recreation for them as there was a big flock here last month also.
I saw and heard a pair of Ringed Plovers calling on one of the Deerness beaches which made me
think there would be a nest nearby.
On May 22nd I was at Nancy Scott's house watching House Martins building nests there - lovely to
see. These birds nested here last year also so it seems to be an established site now. Here is a
splendid photo of one of the birds on the wing - this was taken by Ian Cunningham.
Jonathan and Kathryn Southerington of the Rocket Hoose at Dingieshowe reported two Red-backed
Shrikes which stayed for just a short while but nice birds to see.
On May 28th I was surprised to see a male Sparrowhawk sat in the rosa rugosa bush, obviously
contemplating his next move. He sat there long enough for Peter to pass me the camera so here is a
picture of the bird just before he flew off into another bush hoping for rich pickings!
(Photo by Pauline Wilson).
Several bird-spotters include Deerness on their rounds and on May 11th a Bluethroat was reported
in a garden in the parish but no actual location was given - this is one of the "to see" birds on my list
so I would have loved to catch sight of it.
Ian Cunningham regularly visits Deerness (with his fabulous camera). He reported aSnipe drumming
over East Denwick, a Short-eared Owl near Dingieshowe and 2 House Martins by a farm just west of
Lighthouse Corner (these were Nancy's of course). Two Wheatears each at Sandside Bay, Lighthouse
Corner and East Denwick; two Red-throated Divers were at Newark Bay ; Lastly, Ian watched a Swift
flying around Grindegar Farm, Deerness.
This is a lovely time of year for birds and for wild flowers so I expect many of us will be out and
about more so don't forget the binoculars!