Bird Report - April 2020
Lots of yellow flowers around just now so I thought I would brighten up this report with photos of a few of them. Gerry Cannon captured this lovely photo of Coltsfoot which of course blooms well before the leaves; they appear quite a bit later.
I came across the lovely Primroses growing opposite Misker and the gorgeous Celandine is blooming in my own garden in great profusion.
I imagined I would be struggling for bird reports during lockdown but not so. On the 3rd I noticed there is Curlew activity near the end of Halley Road - in fact all the waders will be busy at breeding time with Lapwings fending off marauding crows, Oystercatchers seeking nesting sites as are Redshanks, Snipe, etc. Speaking of Snipe Isobel Gardener reported hearing one at the beginning of the month (I have yet to hear one).
A Hen Harrier has been including Deerness in its rounds - on the 3rd it was hunting over my small plantation before flying round the back of Little Halley then heading towards Halley Road. It repeated this itinerary on the 7th.
A pleasant walk with binoculars on the 4th produced Oystercatchers, Curlew, Redshank, 3 Twite which landed on the fence, while a Meadow Pipit was displaying. Also on view were Skylark, Hooded Crow, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Starling.
Mic Hamer reports a Collared Dove on April 7th. At this time also you can't fail to see House Sparrows, Starlings, etc. etc. busy collecting nesting material.
Bees are also beginning to make their appearances; my flowering currant bush has been a great early source of feeding for the Bumble Bees.
Kathryn and Jonathan Southerington reported their first Swallow and Wheatear during a walk on the 8th, then the following day saw 2 more Wheatears and 2 Bonxies while on the shore 20 Purple Sandpipers were feeding - these will be moving on soon. When they reached home the couple were delighted to see a Sandwich Tern flying around opposite the Rocket Hoose.
Reports of Swallows began to come in - Marilyn Gowland saw one plus a flock of Golden Plovers in a field across from Halley Road then 2 more Swallows at New Horries the following day. Marilyn has also been enjoying watching 2 Gannets diving for fish off Halley Beach. More Swallow reports from Jill Sutcliffe while I saw my first of the year flying over Soligeo on the Geo Road.
Another morning walk on the 26th produced a Greenfinch on a fence up Halley Road and a Linnet on the fence above Gritley.
There was also a report of Shelducks on Ernie Skea's pond at Aikerskaill.
Finally the last - and undoubtedly my very best - bird so far this year was a Pied Flycatcher which flew out of the little plantation and obligingly landed on the ornamental plough to give me a ringside view!
May will be a busy month as more birds will be nesting and rearing young so there should be plenty of birds to watch!