Bird Report - July 2014
At the beginning of the month I stopped the car as I approached Seatter to look at two well-grown
Lapwing chicks in the field. Further along the road, near Ashley Rosie's, I encountered to a small
Oystercatcher chick in the road as a very worried parent was alarmed when my car approached. It
was a very slow driving pace as the panicking chick ran ahead before finally disappearing into the
hedge quickly followed by the adult bird.
I was lucky to have a second trip to the Holms of Copinsay with Sidney Foubister and it was fantastic
to see a colony of Arctic Terns with chicks. Sid pointed out the sandeels around our boat which is
really good news for the seabirds. There were lots of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, tysties and shags
in the water and the seals were posing nicely.
I did a beached birds survey at Newark Bay and spotted two Eider Ducklings being shepherded by
two 'aunties'. There was a juvenile Pied Wagtail on the beach and a single Ringed Plover which made
me wonder if there was a nest nearby. Two noisy Redshanks also accompanied my walk.
There is aptly-named Sweet Rocket flowering along the beach and, on the path back, wild flowers
were at their best - yellow ladies' bedstraw with its delicate leaves, purple vetch, kidney vetch,
yarrow in pink and white, cocks & hens, the sparse flowers of silverweed, ragwort, sow thistle.
Looking beyond the path into Russell's field, burdock was developing its sticky buds.
On a visit to Sandside Bay wild flowers were again the theme as lady's mantle lined the track, along
with mayweed, vetch and curly doddies. A meadow brown butterfly flitted among the flowers and
a Curlew gave its alarm call - obviously a chick not far away. Oystercatcher chicks were sure to have
been hiding also as the parent birds kept guard from atop a pile of dung!
Reaching the beach I saw 3 Arctic Terns diving for sandeels, another lone Ringed Plover and a least
100 Oystercatchers on the shore.
Once again wild flowers were centre stage and I was surprised and delighted to find Grass of
Parnassus in flower in the little meadow at Sandside
photo of Grass of Parnassus by Pauline Wilson
along with yellow and bright purple vetch, eyebright, rosa rugosa, clover, mayweed,
ragwort, yarrow. I also noted that Angelica is now in flower - a sign that the year is wearing on, but a
lovely time of year nevertheless.