Bird Report - July 2018

Nothing in the way of rarities this month, in fact nothing much to report at all; I suspect the birds are busy with their families just now.

To prove this, on July 10th there was a baby Greenfinch on the back lawn at Sunnybank accompanied by a male bird. There are still plenty of juvenile Starlings and House Sparrows begging for food.

I was surprised to see a female Chaffinch on the lawn on the 16th and, later that day, I was at Newark admiring lots of Meadow Brown butterflies.

During a walk at Newark on the 19th a bird flew by and I recognised it was a Ringed Plover but it landed amongst the stones on the shore and completely disguised itself! A Pied Wagtail was on the beach and Meadow Pipits were present but I was alarmed when a Bonxie (Great Skua) landed on the beach too close for comfort to a family of Eider Ducks.


(Photograph of Bonxie by Gerry Cannon).

The striking tall Perennial Sow Thistle is now in bloom along with Yarrow and the daisy-like Mayweed to name but a few. Also escaping from Russell's field onto the side of the path is Burdock with its clingy heads just waiting for an unsuspecting dog to brush against - what a job for the owner untangling these from a dog's coat!

As I drove home up our lane it was lovely to see an Orkney Vole scurrying across the road and safely into the ditch - let's hope the dreaded Stoats don't get this far (though only this morning Isobel Gardner reported seeing one at Dingieshowe).

There was not much to see at Newark on the 24th apart from noisy Oystercatchers and 4 Hooded Crows - I guessed there would be two adults and two juveniles according to their behaviour.

All my walks seem to have been at Newark this month. On the 25th I spotted 3 Bonxies at the edge of the sea pulling at a dead bird. Two flew off on seeing me but the remaining one was very persistent in trying to pull the bird out of the water.

A bit farther on I heard cheeps and it was a delight to see 2 Ringed Plover chicks hurrying about while the parents were in action trying to distract me.

It's only the end of July but I notice the Starlings are already beginning to get their spotted winter coats. Time marches on!

Pauline Wilson