Bird club mem­bers iden­tify favourite feath­ered friends

The Galloway News - - Voice Of The People - STEPHEN NOR­RIS

Lo­cal clubs have been un­able to hold meet­ings be­cause of Covid-19 – and the Ste­wartry branch of the Scot­tish Or­nithol­o­gists’ Club is no dif­fer­ent.

How­ever, the group has still been busy spot­ting and record­ing lo­cal birdlife. Dozens of species have been logged – but which one would mem­bers choose as their favourite?

Edna El­liot-McCall, from Gate­house, picked the pied fly­catcher as her spe­cial bird.

She said: “It’s a mi­grant which comes back in mid-April.

“The males come back first to search for a nest site then the fe­males ar­rive.

“Gal­loway has pro­tected an­cient wood­lands par­tic­u­larly in the Cree Val­ley and th­ese habi­tats are per­fect for th­ese birds.”

Sarah Wood, also from Gate­house, se­lected the yel­lowham­mer, above, as her chart-top­per. She said: “They are at­trac­tive lit­tle birds – the male is like a flam­boy­ant spar­row.

“They are quite rare in the Ste­wartry in many re­spects.

“We had friends come up from Corn­wall where they don’t see yel­lowham­mers. They ar­rived in Jan­uary and said ‘where are all th­ese yel­lowham­mers you keep see­ing?’.

“As if on cue one ap­peared, then two, and soon we had eight out­side the kitchen win­dow.”

Cor­sock man Mark Pol­litt plumped for the rook as his feath­ered favourite. He said: “Rooks are in­cred­i­bly in­tel­li­gent birds.

“They are re­ally strik­ing too – sleek black plumage and the way they’re feath­ered makes it look as if they are wear­ing long baggy trousers.

“When I’m work­ing dur­ing the sum­mer there’s a colony of rooks right above the of­fice.

“They spend their day talk­ing to each other and are my back­ground sound­track in the of­fice.”

Ge­off Packard, from Kirkcud­bright, picked out a finch as top of the cheeps. He said: “I walk my dog ev­ery morn­ing and I al­ways en­joy see­ing the bullfinch. They are here all year round and they are very con­fi­dent.

“They let you get quite close to them so you can have a good look. They are lovely lit­tle birds.”

They spend their day talk­ing to each other and are my back­ground sound­track in of­fice

Mark Pol­litt

Edna El­liot-MCall Favourite bird is the pied fly­catcher

Mark Pol­litt Feath­ered favourite is the rook

Ge­off Packard Finch is top of the cheeps

Sarah Wood Se­lected the yel­lowham­mer as top bird

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