Bird Report December 2018
Robins made their presence felt in December and how appropriate with Christmas approaching. A Robin paid a visit to Sunnybank on the 2nd then on the 3rd another was present and, of course, there is no way of knowing if it was the same bird. It was not all good news though as later in the month I spotted something colourful lying in one of our outside shelters and, sure enough, it was a Robin which had met an untimely end. So sad.
The attached photograph of a Robin was taken by me at the East Denwick Plantation recently when I accompanied RSPB's Alan Leitch on a bird-ringing expedition. This little bird now sports a leg ring and can be identified should it be caught again.
Early in the month I spotted 2 Snow Buntings hopping along the path in front of me at Newark before they flew off into the field. Three days later the two birds were back in the same location but have since flown to pastures new.
On the 6th Ivor Rorie reported a Pied Wagtail on the road near Jean Corsie's house. Ivor had to stop the car to allow the bird to get airborne!
There were a number of Lapwings and Curlews in and around a pool which had formed at the bottom of the Links.
Ivor Rorie had his binoculars out on the 18th to confirm that a Great Skua (Bonxie) was among the Greater Black-backed Gulls feeding on a dead seal on the shore not far from his home. A nice early sighting of this species.
Common Gulls were out in force on the 19th feeding on the large amount of seaweed that had accumulated at the Geo. In fact there were a lot of Gulls of various species around that day. The stormy seas had unfortunately resulted in quite a number of casualties, mainly baby seals, providing a feast for Gulls and Ravens alike.
Speaking of Ravens, you cannot miss seeing these big black birds just now as breeding time
When I threw down bird feed on the ground on the 23rd I noticed a Dunnock pecking around which made a nice addition to the House Sparrows, Starlings and Greenfinches which are normally attracted.
An unusual sighting was reported just after Christmas when a Yellowhammer was in a field near the Gloup car park. I would like to have seen this.
Looking out of the front window on the 28th I saw a large bird perched on the fence. As the bird was a bit wet it wasn't obvious at first but it soon became clear that it was a Hen Harrier. By the time I had picked up the binoculars the bird was airborne and flew around for a short while then disappeared. No doubt the resident Sparrows and Starlings were breathing sighs of relief!