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by Liz Lea - 19:37 on 15 July 2015

Eleven of us walked from Northside, Birsay round the coast to the cemetery. As we approached the start it was obvious Birsay was enduring a downpour, but things brightened up fairly rapidly and for the most part we walked under blue skies. Towards the end it was even hottish!

The flowers along the cliff tops were spectacular and we managed to see 34 species of birds. What was particularly pleasing were the number of young chicks we were able to spot (oystercatcher, arctic terns, eider) and an oystercatcher's nest with 4 eggs.We also answered the question of "where do skylarks nest" by watching a bird in a newly cut field of silage gathering a great beak full of grubs and then edge ever closer to the tumps of grass at the field margin where it disappeared ,emerging with an empty beak a few moments later. But none of us knew where Pied wagtails nest (when they are not under car bonnets): there were hoards of families along the beach below Birsay tea rooms, so perhaps we could try some simple research to settle this enigma if we are ever back that way when the birds are nest building.

Altogether a very enjoyable morning, interrupted by a pit- stop break at the Birsay Stores.


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