Please note that this is my own personal blog and therefore the views and opinions expressed, although in no way intended to be controversial, are not necessarily those shared by my employers Abbotsbury Tourism Ltd. and Ilchester Estates . All photos are © Steve Groves unless otherwise credited.



Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - December 2017

Highlights...


Five Cattle Egrets roosted for at least three or four nights, a Glaucous Gull was seen briefly as was a Hen Harrier, whilst also noteworthy were at least seven Scaup and at least one Firecrest

Glaucous Gull (1st calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


More details on the above birds and the rest of this month's sightings follow below (I didn't have many photos this month so I have plundered a few from the archive from previous Decembers)...


Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 480 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Black Swan...
Two were present regularly.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 350 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Barnacle Goose...
A flock of 22 settled briefly on the 6th.

Shelduck...
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Shoveler... 
Present throughout with a peak of 150 on the 2nd...


Shoveler (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2011 © Steve Groves

Wigeon...
Seen regularly with 630 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 420 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Pintail...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least 10 on two dates.

Teal...
Present throughout with a peak of 750 on the 2nd.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 170 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 160 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Scaup...
Present throughout with a peak of seven on several dates...


Scaup (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2015 © Steve Groves


Goldeneye...
One on the  on the 14th.

Goosander...
One on the 3rd.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Seen regularly with a peak of five on several dates.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout but none were seen during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 14th.

Cattle Egret...
Five roosted nightly from the 5th to the 8th.

Grey Heron... 
Seen regularly but none were seen during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with around 10 roosting nightly.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with around 30 roosting nightly.

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen regularly.

Hen Harrier...
A 'Ringtail' was seen on the 15th, the first since December 2016.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Water Rail...
Present throughout...


Water RailAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2013 © Steve Groves


Moorhen...
Present throughout with 13 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Coot...
Present throughout with 760 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Lapwing...
Seen regularly with 100 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Dunlin...
Singles on the 3rd and 19th.

Snipe...
Seen regularly with a peak of 20 on the 6th.

Green Sandpiper...
One was heard on the 4th.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of three on several dates...


RedshankAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2016 © Steve Groves


Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout but only 17 were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 150 on the 27th.

Common Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 300 on the 24th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with 230 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Glaucous Gull...
A first calendar year was present briefly on the 13th...


Glaucous Gull (1st calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 130 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
Singles were seen on the 5th and 10th.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly with at least one seen on the 18th.

Kingfisher...
At least one was seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Peregrine...
One on the 6th.

Jay...
One on the 4th and two on the 20th.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout with over 500 seen flying east to roost on the 14th.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Seen regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
At least two were seen regularly.

Firecrest...
At least one was seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
Seen/heard regularly.

Starling...
Seen regularly but with a peak of 20 on the 18th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
Eight on the 4th and over 20 on the 28th.

Song Thrush...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 10 on the 12th.

Mistle Thrush...
Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 24th.

Robin...
Present throughout...


RobinAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2012 © Steve Groves


Stonechat...
Seen regularly.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

Grey Wagtail...
Seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout with at least 30 roosting nightly.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.

Rock Pipit...
At least one was seen regularly.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
At least two were seen regularly...


BullfinchAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


Greenfinch...
Single figures were seen regularly (up until a few years ago there would be around fifty wintering).

Linnet.
Present throughout.

Goldfinch.
Present throughout.

Siskin...
At least one was heard on the 5th.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.



... And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Alan Barrett, Steve Hales, Richard Philips, Nick Urch and Charlie Wheeler for additional sightings and where applicable for the use of their images. 


January's sightings to follow shortly.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - November 2017

Highlights...


The Spotted Sandpiper remained at the beginning of the month as did the the two Cattle Egrets. Also noteworthy were at least six Scaup, two Grey Phalaropes and at least four Firecrests

Spotted SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler
Adult drake Scaup (with Tufted Ducks), Abbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler
Above two images 1 ad duck & 2 ist winter duck Scaup
(with Tufted Ducks & PochardAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


More details on the above birds and the rest of this month's sightings follow below...


Black Swan...
Two were present regularly.

Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 460 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Greylag Goose...
One on the 14th and 21st.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Egyptian Goose...
One briefly on the 3rd; thirteen briefly on the 17th.

Record shot of the single Egyptian GooseAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Steve Groves

Shelduck...
Seen regularly with a peak of fourteen on the 1st.

Wigeon...
Seen regularly with 650 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Gadwall...
Two on the 3rd.

Teal...
Present throughout with 525 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th...

 TealAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Mallard...
Present throughout with 360 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Pintail...
Present throughout with a peak of 300 on the 3rd.

Shoveler... 
Present throughout with 120 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Pochard... 
Present throughout but with only 62 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 195 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 8th.

Scaup...
Present throughout with a peak of six on two dates...

Above two images 2 1st w. drake, 1st w. duck & 1 ad. duck Scaup
(with Tufted Ducks & PochardAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Steve Groves

Goldeneye...
One on the  on the 22nd and 26th.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Regular from the 11th with a peak of five on the 23rd.

Goosander...
Five were present from the 2nd to the 4th and again on the 25th, whilst a single was seen on the 27th...

Record shot of one of the 'redhead' GoosandersAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Steve Groves

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with 14 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Cattle Egret...
Two were seen regularly until the 17th and one was seen on the 25th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with around 20 roosting nightly.

Grey Heron... 
Present throughout but only one was counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout with 12 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Present throughout with five counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen regularly.

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Water Rail...
Present throughout.

Moorhen...
Present throughout with six counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th

Coot...
Present throughout with 200 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th

Oystercatcher...
Two on the 28th.

Lapwing...
Seen regularly with a peak of 30 on the 4th.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Three on the 24th.

Dunlin...
One on the 25th.

Grey Phalarope...
Singles on the 19th and 24th...

Record shot of the first of two Grey PhalaropesAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Richard Philips

Spotted Sandpiper...
The individual that arrived in September lingered until the 11th...
Spotted SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler
Redshank...
Present throughout with ten counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th

Snipe...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 15th.

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 70 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 50 on the 23rd.

Common Gull...
Seen regularly with 13 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Herring Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 40 on the 23rd.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 100 on the 23rd.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Stock Dove...
One on the 17th.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout with migrant flocks of 200 west on the 13th and 100 east on the 17th.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
Singles on the 27th and 30th.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly.

Kingfisher...
Seen regularly with a peak of three on the 19th...

KingfisherAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Steve Groves


Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Merlin...
One on the 20th.

Peregrine...
One on the 22nd.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jay...
Seen regularly.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout...

GoldcrestAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Firecrest...
At least four were present on the 3rd and one was trapped, ringed and released on the 19th...

FirecrestAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Steve Hales

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Bearded Reedling...
At least two were heard on the 9th.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
Heard regularly.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
Seen regularly but with only around 20 in the roost nightly.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
Two on the 14th; over 50 on the 28th and at least 10 on the 29th.

Song Thrush...
Present throughout.

Redwing...
Seen or at least heard regularly with a peak of over 50 on the 28th.

Mistle Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Robin...
Present throughout.

Stonechat...
Seen regularly.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Grey Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.

Rock Pipit...
Present throughout...

Rock PipitAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Rock PipitAbbotsbury Swannery, November 2017 © Steve Groves

Brambling...
Singles on the 8th, 15th and 24th.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
Seen regularly.

Greenfinch...
Seen regularly for the first time this year, with a peak of 6 on the 28th (up until a few years ago there would be around fifty wintering).

Linnet.
Present throughout.

Lesser Redpoll.
One on the 1st and at least two on the 3rd.

Goldfinch.
Present throughout.

Siskin...
Regular with a peak of over ten on a couple of dates.

Yellowhammer...
One on the 3rd was the first since February.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.



... And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Alan Barrett, Kev Butler, Dave Callaby, Steve Hales, Richard Philips, Luke Phillips, Nick Urch and Charlie Wheeler for their help, additional sightings and where applicable for the use of their images. 


I'll leave you with another of Charlie's images...

Mallard & Tufted DuckAbbotsbury Swannery, 
November 2017 © Charlie Wheeler 
Check out Charlie's website here - Charlie Wheeler Photography



December's sightings to follow shortly.