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.



Saturday, 25 March 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - February 2017


Highlights...


Dorset Rarities this month were represented by a Green-winged Teal, three Cattle Egretsat least one Iceland Gull and the two over-wintering Richard's Pipits. Other highlights included thirteen Scaup, five Long-tailed Ducks and at least four Slavonian Grebes.


Two of the three Cattle Egrets
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves


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



Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 525 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th. 

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 68 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th..

Shelduck... 
Present throughout with sixteen counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th...


A pair of  Shelducks, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 
© Dave Callaby DMC Journal


Wigeon...
Present throughout with a peak of ten on the 24th.

Gadwall...
Only noted between the 9th and 12th with a peak of three on the 10th.

Teal...
Present throughout with 305 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th...


  Teal (with a Redshank) Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 
© Dave Callaby DMC Journal


Green-winged Teal...
One (a drake) was present on the 20th and it was reported again on the 26th...


The drake Green-winged Teal (fourth from left) with (Eurasian) Teal
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves

Mallard...
Present throughout with 353 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th.

Pintail...
Two on the 12th and ten on the 24th.

Shoveler...
Present throughout with a peak of 30 on the 9th.

Red-crested Pochard... 
An unwary drake was present on the 16th, the first since June 2014.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with a peak of 300 on the 1st.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with a peak of 200 on the 1st.

Scaup... 
Seen regularly from the 11th with a peak of thirteen on several dates...


The 13 Scaup (with Pochard)
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves


Long-tailed Duck...
Last month's three remained throughout and were joined by two more from the 10th.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Present throughout with a peak of thirty on the 24th.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Gannet...
A third-year repeatedly circled the embayment on the 23rd (the first since September 2016)...


The Gannet (with Tufted Ducks
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves
Another of the Gannet, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Cormorant...
Present throughout with a peak of fifteen on the 20th.

Cattle Egret... 
The three that arrived last month continued to frequent fields around Abbotsbury and Portesham (including the Swannery recording area) throughout and presumably roosted in The Swannery egret roost nightly, although they were only actually confirmed as doing so on the 16th...


Above two images Cattle Egrets, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with a peak of twenty on the 22nd...


Above two images  Little Egrets, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 
© Dave Callaby DMC Journal

Grey Heron... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Little Grebe...
Only one remained for the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th and none were seen subsequently.

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout but only six were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th.

Slavonian Grebe... 
Two were present on the 7th and four on the 10th (the latter believed to be a site record).

Marsh Harrier... 
At least one was seen regularly...


Marsh Harrier, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 
© Dave Callaby DMC Journal
Marsh Harrier, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly. 

Water Rail... 
One was heard on the 10th.

Moorhen...
Present throughout with 27 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th

Coot...
Present throughout with 570 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th.

Oystercatcher...
Present throughout with a peak of five on several dates.

Lapwing...
Present throughout the first half of the month with a peak of 500 on the 1st but only single figures were present from mid-month...


Lapwings, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography
Curlew...
Three lingered for much of the 27th.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of seven on the 2nd...


Swimming Redshank (with  Pochard Tufted Ducks
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography
Snipe...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 1000 on the 17th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regular with a peak of 350 on the 21st.

Common Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of only 1500 on the 22nd.

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of ten on the 21st.

Herring Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 5th.

Iceland Gull...
A 'probable' was seen distantly on the 4th whilst a second calendar year was seen well but briefly on the on the 21st...


The 2nd Calendar year Iceland Gull (with  Black-headed Gulls
Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Richard Phillips charmouthbirding


Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with twelve counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 12th.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout. 

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly.

Kingfisher...
Singles were seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Singles were seen regularly.

Peregrine Falcon...
One on the 22nd.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Seen regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
One on the 22nd.

Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
One that came in to roost on the 8th was the only sighting!

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Redwing...
One was seen regularly until the 11th.

Mistle Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Robin...
Present throughout.

Stonechat...
One or two were seen regularly until the 8th but not subsequently.

Dunnock...
Present throughout...


Dunnock, Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


House Sparrow...
Present throughout...


 House Sparrow Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves

Grey Wagtail...
At least one was seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Richard's Pipit...
The two that arrived in December 2016 were again seen regularly through the month...


 Richard's Pipits Abbotsbury Swannery, February 2017 © Steve Groves

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.

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

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
One on the 22nd.

Greenfinch...
Singles on the 9th and 24th. 

Linnet...
Seen regularly with a peak of 20 on the 23rd.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

Yellowhammer...
One flew north on the 8th, the first since May 2015. 

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout


...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to Alan Barrett, Dave Callaby, Steve Hales, Paul Harris, Mike Morse, Don Moxom, Richard Philips, Nick Urch and Charlie Wheeler for additional sightings, tip offs and where applicable for the use of their images

I'll leave you with a couple of images taken by Don Moxom at the back of Abbotsbury Beach...


Lackey Moth caterpillar 'tents' Abbotsbury, February 2017 © Don Moxom

Lackey Moth caterpillars within their tent Abbotsbury, February 2017 © Don Moxom

March's sightings to follow shortly. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - January 2017

Highlights...


Dorset Rarities this month were represented by a Whooper Swan, three Cattle Egrets and the two over-wintering Richard's Pipits. Other highlights included the twelve Scaups and the three Long-tailed Ducks.

The three Cattle Egrets, Abbotsbury, January 2017 © Steve Groves


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



Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 710 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th. 

Whooper Swan...
An adult was present on the 23rd/24th...


Above two images the Whooper Swan
Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2017 © Steve Groves


Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 22 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th..

Brent Goose...
Six 'Dark-bellied Brent Geese' flew southeast on the 3rd. 

Shelduck... 
Seen regularly with twelve counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Wigeon...
Present throughout with 200 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Gadwall...
Seen regularly with a peak of five on the 3rd.

Teal...
Present throughout with 500 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th...

Drake Teal, Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Mallard...
Present throughout with 300 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Pintail...
Present throughout with a peak of 30 on the 31st.

Shoveler...
Present throughout with 40 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with a peak of 400 on the 31st.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with a peak of 400 on the 31st.

Scaup... 
Seen regularly with a peak of twelve on several dates.

Long-tailed Duck...
Three were seen regularly...

The two 1st winter drakes & 1st winter duck Long-tailed Ducks
Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2017 © Steve Groves


Goldeneye...
One on the 12th and two on the 16th.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Present throughout with twelve counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with seven counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Cattle Egret... 
Three were seen in The Swannery meadows briefly on the 22nd, 0ne then reappeared on the 24th, while all three were back again on the 31st. They were also seen at various other sites in and around Abbotsbury between the 22nd and 31st...





Above three images Cattle Egrets, Abbotsbury, January 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 
Little Egret... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Grey Heron... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout with 15 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout but only two were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Black-necked Grebe... 
Singles were present on the 12th and 28th.

Marsh Harrier... 
At least three individuals, including an adult male, were seen regularly...

Female Marsh Harrier, Abbotsbury, January 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 
Buzzard... 
Seen regularly. 

Water Rail... 
Single figures were seen or at least heard regularly.

Moorhen...
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th

Coot...
Present throughout with 780 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Oystercatcher...
Up to three were seen regularly from the 10th.

Lapwing...
Present throughout with a peak of 300 on the 31st.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Two were seen on the 10th.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of four on the 8th.

Snipe...
Present throughout with eight counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of only 100 on the 25th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regular with a peak of 30 on the 16th.

Common Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of only 120 on the 16th.

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

Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 40 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with four counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout. 

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
One was seen on the 16th.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly.

Kingfisher...
Singles were seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles were seen regularly.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jay...
One on the 25th. 

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout...

 Blue Tit, Abbotsbury Swannery, January 2017
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 
Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Seen regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
Seen regularly with at least three present on the 21st.

Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
Seen regularly with a peak of 30 on the 25th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
One on the 20th...

FieldfareAbbotsbury Swannery, January 2017 © Steve Groves

Song Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Redwing...
Seen regularly with a peak of five on the 5th...

RedwingAbbotsbury Swannery, January 2017 © Steve Groves

Mistle Thrush...
Up to four were seen regularly.

Robin...
Present throughout.

Stonechat...
One or two were seen regularly.

Dunnock...
Present throughout.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Grey Wagtail...
At least one was seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Richard's Pipit...
The two that arrived in December 2016 were seen regularly through the month, albeit rather elusive for much of the time.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 1st at least.

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

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
One on the 18th.

Greenfinch...
Still very scarce this winter with one on the 14th but at least three on the 24th/25th!  

Linnet...
Seen regularly.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout


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

February's sightings to follow shortly.