Bird Report - March 2018

March has proved quite an interesting month with a few more birds to report.

Star of the show was undoubtedly the Crane which landed in the field across the road from the Lighthouse Quarry on the 17th. This big bird was close to the gate so it was possible to get a really good view as it turned over the soil to find goodies - I suspect leatherjackets.


Photo of Crane by Gerry Cannon.

Going back to start of the month, we have had a Dunnock for some time now and it chose to make an appearance on the 6th. It is similar to a house sparrow but has grey round the neck and has a different stance and tends to peck around the floor rather than sitting in trees or bushes. Also on the 6th our regular Robin was tempted by the mealworms I spread on the lawn while a Redwing was in the front field.

On the 6th also I went to Sandside Bay and disturbed 4 Pheasants which flew from the undergrowth. Many who have been on the local beaches cannot fail to have noticed the Cuttlefish bones which have been thrown up in the heavy seas.

Spring had truly sprung on the 9th. Skylarks were larking around in Russell's field; 20 Eiders - both male and female - were in the sea with the males making their distinctive call. Also 3 Bar-tailed Godwits were feeding on the shore at Newark in the usual place frequented by them. They were back on the 25th and Skylarks were still singing.

It was a boiling sea at Newark on the 16th, consequently there were lots of assorted Gulls and Waders feeding on the bounty brought in by the waves.

Spring was in the air again on the 26th - Skylarks were on the wing, a pair of Oystercatchers were hanging around together and a Meadow Pipit was displaying, obviously trying to catch the eye of a lady. Further on at the Geo there was a lone Mute Swan which is quite unusual for this location.

On March 29th at Sunnybank there were no less than 33 Blackbirds, 3 Redwing and a Fieldfare in the front field. This tends to be a yearly happening but I am not sure if the birds are arriving or leaving for breeding grounds.

Pied Wagtails are starting to make an appearance and Wheatears cannot be far behind and, of course, the Meadow Pipits will soon be seen on almost every fencepost.

On the 29th I took a walk with my dog down the track to Lower Gritley and Peggy flushed a Woodcock from the grass. The very next day a Woodcock flew out of a field at Quoybelloch. Woodcocks are very similar to Snipe with the ridiculously long beak but they are quite a bit bigger.

April is always an interesting month for new arrivals so watch out for the Swallows!


Pauline Wilson