Bird Report - March 2020

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris

I wonder where the birdies is ?

The bird is on the wing

That's absurd 

I always thought the wing was on the bird!

Well at least the birds are on the wing which is more than can be said for most of us in these uncertain times. However March provided plenty of opportunities to see our feathered friends.

I have had a Redwing in my little tree plantation all winter. It was there at the beginning of March and was still out feeding on the 30th but will be saying goodbye soon.

During a walk at Newark Bay on the 8th I saw quite a lot of waders including Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers. Meanwhile at sea there were 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Shag.

On the 10th a Kestrel was at the bottom of Little Halley's field flying northwards. Later that day Mark Wick spotted a juvenile White-tailed Sea Eagle in a field adjacent to the DeernessDistillery - quite a sight which I wish I had been party to.

A few Robins have been feeding in my back garden, obviously singly as this species is not very neighbourly!

As I drove on the road around St. Peter's Pool on the 12th it was lovely to see a Short-eared Owl hunting in the nearby field.

Spring is in the air and, each time I walk down the lane from home,I hear a couple of Wrenscalling so maybe a family there before too long. They had a nest in the vicinity of Gritley last year. 

Skylark sounds are now accompanying walks. I heard the first of the season down the track from Halley Road. Since then, of course, they are to be heard in all parts of the parish and certainly brighten up a day. 

On March 12th Gerry Cannon visited Mull Head and reported a few varieties including a male Blackcap, a lot of Pink-footed and Greylag Geese, and 3 Redwings which would have been heading north for the summer.

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(Photo of Redwing by Gerry Cannon)

he also spotted 8 Hares which were too far away to ascertain if a boxing match was taking place! On the cliffs at Mull Head Gerry spotted a Raven (which was sporting a leg ring) also its mate was sat on the nest.

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(Photo of Raven by Gerry Cannon).

I was pleased to see an Oystercatcher back in my field. There are one or two there every year and I am presuming this is the same bird and hope a mate will arrive before too long.

Back also are Lesser Black-backed Gulls which introduce their presence with raucous cries! Another noisy species are the Black-headed Gulls which, as their name implies, are easy to identify.

A first sighting for me this year was on a sunny morning when my attention was distracted from the Skylarks to watch a Meadow Pipit putting on an impressive display for a potential mate. 

Yes breeding time is here again and Starlings will be searching for ever more inventive nest sites so please make sure to look under car bonnets before driving off first thing in the morning!

Bird spotting might be more challenging from now on for quite a while so I would appreciate it if people can report their sightings to me on 741382. Thanks.

Pauline Wilson