Bird Report - January 2020

January 2020 Report

There is not a great deal to report for the start of the new year. 

My first bird of note was a Hen Harrier methodically checking willow trees in the garden before before leaving empty-clawed.

I enjoyed a walk from Newark on the 1st and noticed, once again, quite a number of Rock Pipits hopping around the shore near the wooden bridge over the burn. I was not surprised, therefore, to see a photo on Facebook of a Rock Pipit perched on the very same bridge. 

Rock Pipit

The photo was taken by Brian Thomson. 

In response to my query about the bird Malcolm Russell said it is quite a pale Rock Pipit and could be a Scandinavian sub-species. The bird certainly looks different in this pose than our usual view of it pecking around the rocks on the shore.

Repeating this walk on the 9th I found quite a bit more to see - 15 Mallards, 3 Long-tailed Ducks diving, 3 Rock Pipits. The cacophony from a big flock of Greylag Geese accompanied me along the track. 

It was a day of gales on the 15th, nevertheless 3 Greenfinches found their way to the garden feeder.

My first singing Wren of the year was on the 20th when I spotted the bird on the garage roof at Upper Gritley. Since then my garden has been visited a couple of times by a Wren. 

It was another very windy day on the 30th but birds were out and about. As I drove down the road towards Newark I spotted a lot of Greylag Geese then further down about 40 Curlews and a big flock of Starlings. Reaching the bottom of the road 4 Mallards rose from the small pool.

During January I have had periodic appearances from a Robin but of course the bird was missing on the day of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch! 

I did my count on January 26th accompanied by David Delday from Radio Orkney so that was certainly a new experience!

I counted as follows: Blackbirds 4; Starlings 92; House Sparrows 35; Rock Doves 11; Dunnock 1; Redwing 2. 

Just to finish I thought I would mention the 3 Blackbirds whose party piece is to hang around the back door every day waiting for me to throw grapes out for them. This causes me great amusement during the dark winter days!

Pauline Wilson