Bird Report - October 2017

There has been plenty to see for the serious birders in Deerness during October but first for the more mundane!

To carry on from September, early in the month still saw Wheatears, Pied Wagtails and straggler Swallows thinking about making their exit from Orkney.

A walk at Newark on the 6th saw 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, also a Heron as well as Sanderling on the beach. Another walk from Newark to the Barns saw 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Herons making their presence felt.

On the 8th there was a solitary Goldcrest in the rosa rugosa at Sunnybank. It's always nice to catch a glimpse of Britain's smallest bird as it flits about making its quiet but distinctive call.

There have been two visits from Dunnock in the back garden, on the 13th and the 22nd.

It was nice to see a Songthrush in Daisy Aitken's garden on the 19th while Redwing were present at Sunnybank on the same day.

Barely a day has gone by without a Robin pecking around our back garden and, during a recent walk, it was evident there had been an influx of these feisty birds.

I had a nice walk at Newark on the 20th and was treated to a stunning display of Gannets diving (adults and juveniles which are dark).An unconcerned Seal swam lazily on this pleasant day..

A mixed flock of birds near Glenavon was disturbed when a male Hen Harrier flew amongst them and they were quickly dispersed!

Driving down the Geo road I was alerted to a flock of visiting Fieldfares while Golden Plovers and Lapwings were in Keith Eunson's field at the bottom of Halley Road.

On to the rarities . . .

I was lucky on the 29th to see a Firecrest which had been spending a little time in the Lighthouse Quarry - a colourful little bird (bigger and brighter than its Goldcrest cousin) this was a first for me.


Morris Rendall took this splendid photo of the bird.

Another rarity was seen at the Lighthouse Quarry, namely a Tree Creeper.

  Tree Creeper

Once again Morris Rendall was ready with his camera to take this photo.

More sightings at the quarry were: Yellow- browed warbler and 2 Goldcrests.

Sandside Bay has seen its share of migrant birds in October - on the 22nd Morris Rendall reported as follows: 2 Stonechat, 3 Goldcrest, Blackcap, Redwings, and Snow Bunting on the beach. Birder Ian Cunningham visited Sandside Bay and spotted a Buzzard with red wing tags.

Moving on to East Denwick, species reported there by Alan Leitch include Red-backed Shrike, Woodcock and a French-ringed Blackbird which added interest. Completing the picture at East Denwick were Brambling, Robin, Goldcrests, about 65 Redwing and two Thrushes.

So October proved to be a busy month for our feathered friends!

Pauline Wilson