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.



Sunday, 18 March 2018

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - February 2018


Highlights...
At least three Cattle Egrets were seen, at least one Glaucous Gull, and a brief Spoonbill, whilst also of note were at least six Scaup.

Cattle Egret, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves

Spoonbill, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves


The Month's Bird News In Full...
More details of the above highlights and the rest of this month's sightings...


Mute Swan... Present throughout with 450 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Black Swan… The usual two were present regularly but they were joined by a third on the 27th.

Greylag Goose... One was present from the 26th to the 28th.

Barnacle Goose... One was present on the 21st...

Barnacle Goose, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves

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

Shoveler...Present throughout with a peak of 120 on the 2nd.

Gadwall... Two from the 19th to the 27th.

Wigeon... Seen regularly with 50 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Mallard... Present throughout with 440 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Pintail... Seen regularly with 80 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Teal... Present throughout with a peak of 150 on the 8th...

 Teal, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves

Pochard... Present throughout with 350 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Tufted Duck... Present throughout with 180 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Scaup... Six were present regularly until the 9th, with three then regular to the 26th and one to the 28th...

 Scaup, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves


Red-breasted Merganser... Seen regularly with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Pheasant...
 Present throughout.

Little Grebe... Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 21st.

Great Crested Grebe... Seen regularly with a peak of 14 on the 9th.

Spoonbill... One briefly on the 26th...

 Spoonbill, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves

Cattle Egret... Following a single on the 2nd, at least three were present from the 5th to the 7th (but five were in the Abbotsbury/Portesham area and may well have all roosted in the egret roost at The Swannery). At least one was then seen regularly from the 19th to the 28th...

Cattle Egret (with Jackdaws), Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves


Grey Heron... Seen regularly with a peak of five on the 20th.

Little Egret... Present throughout with a peak of 10 on the 6th.

Cormorant... Present throughout with 18 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Sparrowhawk... One on the 22nd.

Marsh Harrier... Two on the 5th; singles on the 7th and 22nd.

Red Kite... One flew west on the 26th.

Buzzard... Present throughout.

Water Rail... Heard regularly.

Moorhen... Present throughout with 20 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Coot... Present throughout with 270 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Oystercatcher... Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 20th.

Lapwing... Seen regularly with 350 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Golden Plover... At least 20 were present daily from the 26th to the 28th.

Curlew... Two on the 26th and 27th.

Dunlin... 
Two on the 12th and one on the 21st.

Snipe... Seen regularly with peaks of 20 on the 2nd and 27th.

Redshank... Present throughout with a peak of seven on the 12th.

Black-headed Gull... Present throughout with 100 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Mediterranean Gull... Seen regularly with 220 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Common Gull... Seen regularly with 450 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Great Black-backed Gull... Present throughout but with only two counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 19th.

Glaucous Gull... Single third-calendar-years were present on the 13th, 22nd and 27th. It is unclear whether one, two or three individuals were involved but the 'first' bird seemed to be troubled by something it had ingested, whilst the 'second' clearly had fishing tackle trailing from its bill. The 'third' bird however looked fine...

Glaucous Gull (3rd calendar year), 'bird 2' with fishing tackle,  Abbotsbury Swannery, 
February 2018 © Steve Groves

Glaucous Gull (3rd calendar year), 'bird 3' eating dead Mute Swan,  
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2018 © Steve Groves


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

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

Feral/Dometic Pigeon... Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon... Present throughout.

Collared Dove... Present throughout.

Barn Owl... Singles were seen on the 19th and 26th.

Tawny Owl... Present throughout.

Kingfisher... At least one was seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker... 
Seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker... 
Seen regularly.

Kestrel... Seen regularly.

Peregrine... One on the 20th.

Jay... Singles on the 4th and 23rd.

Magpie... Present throughout.

Jackdaw... Present throughout.

Rook... Present throughout.

Carrion Crow... Present throughout.

Raven... Seen regularly.

Coal Tit... Present throughout.

Blue Tit... Present throughout.

Great Tit... Present throughout.

Skylark... Seen or at least heard regularly.

Cetti's Warbler... Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit... Present throughout.

Chiffchaff... Singles seen regularly

Goldcrest... Present throughout.

Wren... Present throughout.

Starling... Seen regularly with a peak of 550 on the 21st.

Blackbird... Present throughout.

Redwing... Two on the 5th.

Song Thrush... Present throughout.

Mistle Thrush... Seen regularly.

Robin... Present throughout.

Stonechat... Seen regularly.

House Sparrow... Present throughout.

Dunnock... Present throughout.

Grey Wagtail... Singles seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail... Present throughout.

Meadow Pipit... Present throughout.

Rock Pipit... One or two present throughout.

Chaffinch... Present throughout.

Bullfinch... One or two seen regularly.

Greenfinch... Single figures seen regularly.

Linnet... Present throughout.

Goldfinch... Present throughout.

Reed Bunting... Present throughout.


...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Alan Barrett, Richard Philips and Charlie Wheeler for additional sightings. I'll leave you with an image of The Swannery entrance track during the wintry conditions at the very end of the month...







March sightings to follow shortly.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - January 2018

Highlights...


A Glaucous Gull that lingered for a few days, was then sadly picked up dead; whilst also noteworthy were at least seven Scaup a Jack Snipe and two Firecrests


Glaucous Gull (2nd calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2018
© Steve Groves


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


Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 650 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Black Swan...
Two were present regularly.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 240 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Shelduck...
Present throughout with 14 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Shoveler... 
Present throughout with a noteworthy peak of 450 on the 22nd.

Wigeon...
Seen regularly with 120 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Gadwall...
Two on the 30th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 280 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Pintail...
Seen regularly with a peak of 50 on the 22nd...


Pintail (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2012 © Steve Groves

Teal...
Present throughout with 450 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 400 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 200 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

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

Red-breasted Merganser...
Seen regularly with 10 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Little Grebe...
Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 18th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Seen regularly with a peak of 20 on the 17th...


Great Crested Grebe, Abbotsbury Swannery, 2012  © Steve Groves
Grey Heron... 
Seen regularly with two counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with a peak of 20 on the 17th.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with 23 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd. 

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen on the 6th and 25th.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Water Rail...
Heard regularly but seen only once (on the 20th).

Moorhen...
Present throughout with 10 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd

Coot...
Present throughout with 800 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd

Oystercatcher...
Seen regularly with a peak of three on the 31st.

Lapwing...
Seen regularly with 200 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd

Dunlin...
Three on the 21st and two on the 22nd.

Jack Snipe...
One on the 21st.

Snipe..
Seen regularly with a peak of 10 on the 3rd.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of six on the 17th...


Redshank, Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2018 © Steve Groves


Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 250 on the 26th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of 160 on the 22nd.

Common Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 1000 on the 31st.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout but with only two counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd

Glaucous Gull...
A moribund second calendar year was present from the 29th to the 31st. It was picked up dead on the last date and it was discovered to have swallowed a fishing-hook...

Glaucous Gull (2nd calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery 2018, © Steve Groves


Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 160 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd

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

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
There was much evidence of their presence in the form of droppings and pellets throughout but the only sighting was of two on the 3rd.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly.

Kingfisher...
At least one was seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Peregrine...
Singles on the 18th and 25th.

Jay...
Singles were seen regularly.

Magpie...
Present throughout, with a noteworthy count of eight on the 30th.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Seen or at least heard regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
At least two were seen regularly.

Firecrest...
Two on the 6th.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
Heard regularly.

Starling...
Seen regularly but with a peak of 250 on the 26th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
Four on the 5th.

Redwing...
Two on the 30th...


Redwing, Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2017 © Steve Groves

Song Thrush...
Present throughout.

Mistle Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Robin...
Present throughout...

Stonechat...
Seen regularly.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

Grey Wagtail...
Seen regularly, with a peak of two on the 17th...


Grey Wagtail, Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2014 © Steve Groves


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

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout with a peak of 30 on the 3rd.

Rock Pipit...
Seen regularly with a peak of two on the 22nd.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Greenfinch...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Linnet.
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 3rd. Normally it would be a case of picking a few Linnet out among the Greenfinch flock but in the last couple of years it's the other way round!

Goldfinch.
Present throughout.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.



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


Febru
ary's sightings to follow shortly.