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Please take a photograph of your group "in action." Don't forget to ask for permission from everyone for the photo to be published on the web. Then email it to the address below and we will upload it to the gallery.

 orkneyu3a@gmail.com

BIRD WATCHING

by Sally - 19:08 on 21 October 2010
Nice to meet you today Ken and thank you for your compliments about the website.  Looking forward to future reports from the "Birdie Group". 
Comment from Liz Lea at 22:57 on 21 October 2010.
Hi, Sally.

Good to have been able to tell you how user-friendly these web-pages are!

Though Ken is the co-ordinator for this group (tel 761251) we agreed I would write about our October meeting since I led the outing. (We take it in turns to dream up a route and "lead" it!)

On the 20th 8 of us left my house by the Heilandi doctor's surgery, headed across town & up to Corse farm, then down to the bottom of Muddisdale woodland plantation. We wandered up this onto Sunnybank road, then along eastward to the path by the edge of the golf course and so down to the Peerie sea and back by Glaitness House and Nicolson St. One short haily blast but otherwise bright and cold with sun.

The mix of habitats (garden, farmland, woodland and water/mud) yielded a bird tally of 27 species. Perhaps the "specials" of the day were the 2 Knot at close quarters on the newly exposed mud at the Peerie Sea. And the Brambling which hopped out onto a graden wall in Nicolson St for us all to inspect at liesure.

We also covered a diverse range of issues from the merits of social housing/mobility & access to the countryside/farm ownerships & land use/whether we actually needed as much grocery choice as Tesco threatens to offer us/Turkey as a holiday destination ... etc etc etc!!

Next meeting: NOVEMBER 17th, leader Margaret Rinder (tel 781442). Meet 1000hrs at St Mary's loch for 1.5 mile walk round Howequoy head...

Comment from Ken O' Conner at 19:52 on 22 December 2010.
SNOW BIRDS 16 December 2010
A group of 14 of us were lucky to get their Dec walk on Wed 15th prior to the snow. First a little bird watching beside the Loch on the Gorsness road in Rendall. There were quite a few families of Whooper swans together with tufted ducks and one pintail duck as well as the usual amount of widgeon and a kestrel keeping an eye on an easy meal in the cold weather. From there the route took the group along the footpath to the bottom of the Burness road with a diversion or two along its route. A group of golden plover, a hen harrier and green finches along with an assortment of other birds were spied so not a bad couple of hours to see so many different species. On up to the top of the road where a hot glass of punch and a bowl of soup was enjoyed by members prior to setting of for home.

The January walk will be held on Wed 19th with a trip from Ayre point to Dingashowe. More on this later. Ken


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Comment from Ken O'Connor at 17:36 on 19 January 2011.
Birdie Group walk on Wed 19th January 2011.
On a clear brisk weather January day we all met up at the car park at Dingieshowe car park and caught the 0923 bus to Lighthouse corner in Deerness to start our walk to the Point of Ayre where we observed some species of the Duck families but they were too far off to be able to be identified but sufficient to say Black shags were on the rocks drying themselves after their morning's feeding.
Returning and continuing along the coastal path to Newark bay we were greeted with a great show of Purple Sandpipers who took no notice of us getting onto their territory while they fed on the beach, after this we came across a group of 50 (approx) Sanderlings who were having a wonderful feeding time in the surf. Along with plenty of Turnstones , Golden plovers, and flocks of Eider, Golden eye and long tailed ducks on the water. Following along the cliff path the Fulmars were back on the cliff ledges which was great to see.
Eventually arriving back to the start at 1:00pm after a wonderful mornings outing . Many thanks to everyone in partaking and especially to the walk leader Liz.
Next month (16th Feb) the venue has to be decided so watch this space.

Ken
U3A Bird Group Organiser
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 20:23 on 02 February 2011.
Birdie Walk 16th Feb

Meet up at 1000 hrs at the parking alongside the A960 opposite Echnaloch on the road to Burray. Just below the Fossil centre. We will then drive to the cemetery at the back of Burray and park up. The route will be out on the north side to Burrayness point, thence shore side on the south side to Leith farm and return back up to the car park total distance about 3 miles.
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 20:47 on 16 February 2011.
The Intrepid 10 Birdie Seekers 16-02-2011
Plan "B" was put into operation due to weather conditions not being suitable for Burray .
Binscarth woods and Wasdale Loch where we viewed the Whooper swans along with Mute swans with their families, together with a large flock of Oystercatchers and the usual flock of Widgeon, with a few mallard just to round it off . due to the weather there was not a lot of other activity about but the company was good even though conditions underfoot was for more for waders than walking boots or even welly boots. So well done everyone and see you all on the 16th March where we hope to visit Harry Loch and Greeny Hill.
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 23:20 on 01 April 2011.
Next walk Wednesday 20 April - for details see Calendar entry.
Ken
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 20:57 on 20 April 2011.
20th April Birdie Outing.
Finally got to do the Burray walk after being weathered off in Feb. Nearly as bad today with the north sea Haah trying to do its best to block our views, but managed a nice walk from the the Burray Kirk yard out around the point and back via the fields. There was something for all to see in the birdie line be it quick and you missed it. Wheatear playing on the sand with Nothern diver doing some fishing and Purple sandpipers just having a rest. Discussion on swallows or sand martins but which ever they were it was a first this year. All told many species were observed so a good mornings work.
Next outing will be to Hoy and up the red glen. will be on the 18th May but date might change either way by a day depends on Hoy transport, will inform all who have their names down. Trip is now full. also trip to Sanday on 2nd June is full,so unable to take any more on either trip.
Ken
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 09:35 on 04 June 2011.
Birdie Trip to Sanday on 2nd June

Great day out with Sanday Ranger, Rod, who showed us all the birdie sights about the island. Although it was windy we managed to see quite a variety of waders and other species with the Sandwich Terns being the highlight and witnessing an aerial confrontation between one and an Arctic Skua - tern won!. Northern Divers way out on the water and an Owl hunting in the distance.
A well worthwhile day out for all who enjoy Orkney.
Ken
Comment from Ken O'Connor at 20:16 on 22 June 2011.
Birdie Group Hoy Visit 22nd June 2011

After two cancelled attempts to get to Hoy due to poor weather the group finally made it to the island. Travelling over on the ferry from Stromness to Moness a minibus took us to The Water of Hoy where we saw red throated divers with their young on the Water of Hoy Loch. We set off on a fairly steep climb up the hill towards Kingie Lang at 660 ft - these U3A members are fit! Plenty of bonxies - the Great Skua - at the top, we got to see their eggs and the wee chicks and we escaped being dive bombed. Golden Plover, Skylark , Dunlin and the Arctic Skua were sighted. Due to time limitations we decided not to go to the top of Knapp of Trowieglen so headed down the glen stopping at the Dwarfie Stane before heading back to the ferry. Thanks to Jack for arranging a great day out and the rain conveniently waited till we got home
Comment from Jack MacInnes at 10:11 on 09 July 2011.
Next year, lunch on the top of the Knap. Start training now!

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