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Birdie Group - July 2017

by Liz Lea - 07:46 on 22 July 2017

9 members met at Dingieshowe for a morning's birding in Deerness. It was dry & intermittently sunny with a stiffish south-easterly.

On Dingieshowe beach we were rewarded with one of the species we had set out to see: two summer-plumaged Sanderling sporting rusty heads/upper breasts and with marked black chequering on their backs - so very different from the uniformly silvery grey birds of winter. Thanks to Tim & his telescope, we discovered one bird had been colour-ringed and the following note has been sent to Orkney Scarce and Rare on Facebook: "Sanderling on Dingieshowe beach 19/7. Colour rings one leg blue, white,yellow. 2nd leg green and white. Dog walkers stopped play before we (U3A birders) could sort out which leg/order. Is this useful to anyone? Think Colin Corse has been ringing Sanderling on Sanday?" We will have to see if there is any reaction except a "like" which we have already got!

From here we moved to the Boat Slip end of Newark Bay which seldom fails to turn up something of interest. Beside the usual waders and eiders, there was a common gull 'paddling' the sand to bring up food. It was apparently highly successful as it seemed to be jigging and eating for at least 15 minutes. From here we headed to Ayre Point. On the road down from Lighthouse corner there was a newly cut silage field full of foraging birds and we were pleased to see that at least one curlew chick had avoided the chop. On the pool at the bottom the bright pink flowers of amphibious bistort (thank you Trevor!) made a lovely setting for a family of moorhens and the odd lapwing. It was here , for the third time, that we had a Whimbrel call. We managed to get a sight of it even if it was flying ahead of us and away.

Our penultimate stop was Sandside Bay, always a good little spot for bird watching. We had no sooner arrived than a tight flock of waders flew in and landed amongst some pebbles. They were two more of the returning waders we had on our list: dunlin, with their dark summer tummies, and a solitary turnstone. Our last stop was The Gloup where tysties were still flying back and forwards to their nests while out on the coast fulmars sat tight along with their fluffy chicks. It was an enjoyable outing with a total species list of 31.

We do not have an August meeting and it is off to Sanday in September. Liz Lea

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