Bird Report - July 2019

July 2019 Report

On the 7th I noticed a pair of Ringed Plovers near the Geo End of the shore at Newark and presumed they had young as they were employing 'distracting' behaviour. At the end of the month these two birds were still agitated at passers-by so I presume young birds are still around.

More agitated birds later the same day, this time Oystercatchers, Lapwings and Curlews in the field as I walked down the track at Sandside Bay.

Finally the weather was decent on Monday 8th July for a trip into the Gloup organised by the RSPB Local Group. As well as seeing the usual array of seabirds - puffins, tysties, shags, kittiewakes, guillemots, razorbills, etc. - we called round at the skerries to take a look at the seals. Imagine our delight when an Otter made an appearance and proceeded to eat a flounder right in front of our eyes, unperturbed by the watchers in the boat!


Photo of Otter by Ann Stevenson.

After the talk by Anne Mitchell on the 10th at the St. Ninian's Kirk Jonathan and Kathryn Southerington were lucky enough to spot a rare Two-barred Crossbill on the nearby house wall eating fuchsia.

The dog and I were having a walk near Snippigar on the 13th when I was alerted to a Snipe drumming - an unmistakeable sound - lovely to see it in the air then diving as it spread its tail feathers.

Sand Martins are doing well at Newark Bay where there seems to be a large colony, obviously swelled by youngsters. Lots of Swallows around just now too, with young birds on the wing.

During the week of July 7th Gill Smee of Quoylanks reported a pair of Hen Harriers hunting between the Geo Road and the Mussaquoy Road. The male was causing quite a commotion in Gill's garden as it hunted likely prey! I wonder if this is the same male which put small birds to flight as he passed over my small plantation on the evening of July 28th?

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The super photo of male hen harrier is by Ian Cunningham and was taken this year in Tankerness. Is there a possibility this might be the same bird? I am not sure of their range - I hope someone is able to tell me.

There was a group of Twite feeding on seed heads at Newark on the 27th.

What a lot of Butterflies to be seen just now - lots of Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and one Small Tortoiseshell. Flowers, too, are at their blooming best! To name just a few - Mayflower, Perennial Sow Thistle, Lady's Bedstraw, Yarrow, Yellow & Purple Vetch.

The Grass of Parnassus will be flowering at Mull Head just now so a good excuse to take a walk in this splendid area.


To round off July I was thrilled on the 29th to spot a juvenile Cuckoo on a fence near the Geo Road top. I was able to park the car then watch the bird for a short while as it flew into the field then back on the fence posts. Sadly I had no camera with me but I have a photo of a juvenile cuckoo in my file which shows exactly how the bird looked. Lucky me!


Pauline Wilson