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.



Friday, 23 September 2016

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - August 2016

Apart from two putative Grey-headed Wagtails, there were no rare vagrants or scarce migrants (or any new birds for the recording area) this month but there were a few sightings of what are now fairly uncommon migrants, along with a good selection of waders and of course the first returning 'winter wildfowl'


More details and the rest of this month's sightings follow below in taxonomic order...


Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 700 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st. 

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 160 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st. 

Barnacle Goose... 
The two 'feral' birds were still present to the 10th at least but only one remained by the 27th and none were noted subsequently. 

(Common) Shelduck...
Present throughout with 11  counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st.


(Juvenile) (Common) Shelduck Meadow Pool August 2016 © Steve Groves

(Eurasian) Wigeon...
The first three of the autumn and the only ones of the month were seen on the 18th.

Two (of the three) (Eurasian) Wigeon off 'Bum Point' August 2016 © Steve Groves

Gadwall...
Two on the 8th and one on the 15th and 17th.

(Eurasian) Teal...
Numbers continued to build with a peak of over one hundred on the 19th

Mallard...
Present throughout with 469 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st. 

(Northern) Shoveler...
As with Teal, numbers continued to build (although not quite so markedly), with a peak of 22 on the 30th. 

(Common) Pochard... 
Present throughout with 17 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st. 

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 14 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th.

Red-breasted Merganser... 
The over-summering female lingered all month.

(Common) Pheasant...
Present throughout.

(Northern) Fulmar...
Two flew over on the 31st (the first since December 2015).


 A record shot of the  (Northern) Fulmars August 2016 
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

(Great) Cormorant...
Present throughout with a peak of 44 counted in the roost on the 9th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with a peak of 16 on the 19th.

Grey Heron... 
Present throughout with a peak of nine on the 15th.

Little Grebe... 
Present throughout with 10 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th. 

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout with a peak of 45 on the 12th

(Western) Marsh Harrier... 
One was reported on the 12th.

(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk... 
Singles on the 6th and 18th. 

(Common) Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly. 

(Common) Moorhen...
Present throughout with eight counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st

(Eurasian) Coot...
Present throughout with 320 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st 

(Eurasian) Oystercatcher...
Present throughout with a peak of five on the 15th.

Grey Plover
One was reported on the 18th.

(Common) Ringed Plover
Seen regularly from the 8th with a peak of five on the 19th.

(Adult) (Common) Ringed Plover Meadow Pool August 2016 © Steve Groves

Little Ringed Plover...
Singles on the 17th and 20th.

(Northern) Lapwing
Present throughout with seven counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st.

(Eurasian) Whimbrel...
Singles were seen regularly with two on the 10th and 29th.

(Eurasian) Curlew...
One was heard on the 11th.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Seen regularly with a peak of  13 on the 21st.

Turnstone...
One was seen intermittently from the 2nd to the 7th; five were present on the 29th/30th and 16 on the 31st.

(Red) Knot...
One was seen intermittently from the 15th to the 17th; there were two on the 30th and five on the 31st.

Ruff...
One on Meadow Pool on the 18th and five west on the 19th.

Curlew Sandpiper...
Single adults were on Meadow Pool on the 17th and 19th; four flew west on the 18th; a juvenile was on Meadow Pool on the 20th and another was reported on the 28th.

(Adult) Curlew Sandpiper Meadow Pool August 2016 © Steve Groves

Sanderling...
Regular in the first week on the Chesil/Fleet shoreline with a peak of five on the 6th.

Dunlin...
Regular throughout with a peak of over 40 on the 19th.


(Juvenile) Dunlin Meadow Pool August 2016 © Steve Groves

Little Stint...
A juvenile was on Meadow Pool on the 20th.


(Juvenile) Little Stint  (left) with Dunlin & (Common) Ringed Plover 
Meadow Pool August 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Common Sandpiper...
Regular throughout with a peak of  over 10 on the 29th.


Common Sandpiper Meadow Pool August 2016 
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Green Sandpiper...
Singles on the 3rd, 11th and 25th.

(Common) Greenshank...
Regular from the 12th with a peak of three on the 18th.

(Common) Redshank...
Regular throughout with a peak of  21 on the 11th.

(Common) Snipe...
One on the 15th and two on the 18th.

Two (Common) Snipe at 'The Fleet Pipe' August 2016 © Steve Groves

Sandwich Tern...
At least five on the 5th and two on the 25th.

Common Tern...
Over 100 were still present around the tern island on the 1st but numbers then dropped significantly with only single figures present from the 12th to the 24th and none subsequently. 

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 320 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 21st.

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of 30 on the 21st.


Adult Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gulls at 'Meadow Pool'
August 2016
 
© Steve Groves

Common Gull...
One on the 20th.

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

(European) Herring Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of over two hundred on the 1st.

Yellow-legged Gull...
Single juveniles were seen fairly regularly with two together on the 7th. In addition single 2nd calendar years were seen on the 1st and (along with the two 1st years) on the 7th.


2nd calendar year Yellow-legged Gull with Black-headed Gull at 'Meadow Pool'
August 2016
 
© Steve Groves

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 200 on the 20th. 

Stock Dove...
Two on the 19th.

(Feral/Domestic) Rock Dove...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Little Owl...
One was reported on the 28th.

(Common) Swift...
Single figures were seen regularly to the 7th but the only subsequent sighting was of at least three on the 25th.

(Common) Kingfisher...
Singles were seen regularly.

(European) Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Kestrel...
Seen regularly. 

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles were seen regularly.

(Eurasian) Magpie...
Seen regularly.

(Western) Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

(Northern) Raven...
Seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Skylark...
Present Throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of 250 on the 25th. 

(Barn) Swallow...
Seen regularly with a peak of 250 on the 25th.

(Common) House Martin...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

(Common) Chiffchaff...
Present throughout.

Willow Warbler...
The first of the autumn were seen on the 5th and small numbers were then present through the rest of the month.

(Eurasian) Blackcap...
Present throughout.

Garden Warbler...
One on the 26th was the first of autumn.

(Common) Whitethroat...
Present throughout.

(Common) Grasshopper Warbler...
Singles on the 5th and 26th.

Sedge Warbler...
Present throughout.


Sedge Warbler at 'Meadow Hide' August 2016 © Steve Groves

(Eurasian) Reed Warbler...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Wren...
Present throughout.

(Common) Starling...
A roost of around 20 formed early in the month and swelled to over 100 by the 26th.

(Common) Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Mistle Thrush...
One on the 21st/22nd.

(European) Robin...
Present throughout.

(European) Pied Flycatcher...
One on the 21st/22nd was the first since August 2015.


 (European) Pied Flycatcher August 2016
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

(Common) Redstart...
Two on the 25th and one on the 26th were the first since August 2015.

Whinchat...
Singles on the 5th, 13th, 24th and 29th; six on the 25th.

(European) Stonechat...
Two on the 17th, singles on the 26th and 29th.

(Northern) Wheatear...
The first two of the autumn were seen on the 10th and there were then regular sightings with a peak of over 10 on the 24th.


 (Northern) Wheatear August 2016 © Steve Hales. 
Remarkably the first that Steve has ever ringed at The Swannery.

Dunnock... 
Present throughout.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Regular from the 12th with a peak of 500 in the roost on the 26th. Two, thought  to be of the Scandinavian form known as Grey-headed Wagtail, were trapped, ringed and released on the 29th. Steve Hales has caught similar birds in the wagtail roost in previous autumns but it will probably take a spring adult male to get this taxon unequivocally onto The Swannery bird list!

Grey Wagtail...
Singles were seen regularly from the 24th at least.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Tree Pipit...
One heard on the 5th was surprisingly the only record.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.


 Meadow Pipit 'Meadow Hide' August 2016
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

(Eurasian) Rock Pipit...
One on the 19th/20th, two on the 30th and one on the 31st.


(Eurasian) Rock Pipit August 2016 © Steve Groves

(Common) Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

(European) Greenfinch...
Present throughout.

(Common) Linnet...
Present throughout.

(European) Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

(Common) Reed Bunting...
Present throughout


 (Common) Reed Bunting 'Meadow Hide' August 2016
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to Alan Barrett, Mike Morse, Steve Hales and Charlie Wheeler.

September's sightings to follow shortly.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - July 2016



The best birds of the month were a Great Egret and at least one Roseate Tern

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

Mute Swan...
Present throughout, with 880 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th. 

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout, with 425 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th. 

Barnacle Goose...
Two were present all month.
The two Barnacle Geese (from the British naturalised population) July 2016  
© Steve Groves

(Common) Shelduck...
Present throughout, with 26  counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th (and virtually all of these were locally fledged young)

Gadwall...
One on the 7th was the only record this month.

(Eurasian) Teal...
Present throughout with a peak of nine on the 28th.

Mallard...
Present throughout, with 237 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th. 

(Northern) Shoveler...
Four arrived on the 23rd and there were then regular sightings, with a peak of nine on the 29th. 

(Common) Pochard... 
Single figures were present throughout. 

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout, with 36 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th.

Red-breasted Merganser... 
The female that arrived in June lingered all month.

(Common) Pheasant...
Present throughout.

(Great) Cormorant...
Present throughout, with 24 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout, with 23 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th.

Great (White) Egret... 
One was seen briefly on the 13th, the first since July 2014. It was too distant to photograph so below is an image of the 2014 bird.
Great Egret (with Little Egret) July 2014 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Grey Heron... 
Present throughout, with a peak of four on the 6th. 
Grey Heron July 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Little Grebe... 
There was one on the 4th but from the 24th there were regular sightings, with a peak of six on the 29th. 

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout, with 25 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th

(Western) Marsh Harrier... 
An adult male (presumably the Radipole bird) was seen on the 9th.

(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk... 
One was seen on the 15th. 

(Common) Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly. 

(Common) Moorhen...
Present throughout, with seven counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th

(Eurasian) Coot...
Present throughout, with 254 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24th 

(Eurasian) Oystercatcher...
Six (three nesting pairs) were present throughout (along with, by the month's end, their three fledged young).
Unfledged (Eurasian) Oystercatcher July 2016  © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

(Northern) Lapwing
Present throughout with a peak of eight on the 18th.
 (Northern) Lapwing July 2016  © Steve Groves

Little Ringed Plover
One on the 13th, two from the 15th to the 18th and one on the 29th.
 Juvenile Little Ringed Plover  July 2016  © Steve Groves

(Eurasian) Whimbrel...
Singles on the 10th and 24th.

(Eurasian) Curlew...
Singles on the 5th, 8th, 9th and 22nd.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Single figures were seen regularly through the month but there was a peak of  23 on the 24th.
 Black-tailed Godwits July 2016  © Steve Groves
Turnstone...
One on the 24th.

Dunlin...
Single figures were seen regularly but there were at least 10 present on the 25th.

Common Sandpiper...
Single figures were seen regularly with a peak of nine on the 24th.

Green Sandpiper...
Single figures were seen regularly from mid-month with a peak of five on the 22nd.

(Common) Redshank...
Single figures were seen regularly with a peak of three on the 13th.
Juvenile (common) Redshank July 2016  © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Sandwich Tern...
Single figures were seen regularly, with a peak of seven on the 9th.

Common Tern...
At least 200 were present, a figure which included over 100 fledged young by the month's end. 
Recently fledged Common Tern July 2016  © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Roseate Tern...
An adult was present on the 9th, with it or another also on the 25th. Both sightings involved birds with single rings on both legs but unfortunately no details could be seen.
 Roseate Tern 9th July 2016  © Steve Groves

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout, with 81 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 24thThis included the three young from the Tern Island, which are believed to be the first ever fledged on The Fleet/Chesil Bank. Two previous nesting attempts at Abbotsbury in recent years both failed.
The three Black-headed Gull fledglings July 2016  © Steve Groves

Mediterranean Gull...
Single figures were seen regularly, with a peak of five on the 5th.
Juvenile Mediterranean Gull July 2016  © Steve Groves

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

(European) Herring Gull...
Present throughout, with a peak of over one hundred on the 5th.

Yellow-legged Gull...
At least two juveniles were seen regularly from the 23rd.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Single figures were present throughout.

(Feral/Domestic) Rock Dove...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Tawny Owl...
One was seen on the 10th.

(Common) Swift...
Single figures were seen regularly.

(Common) Kingfisher...
Singles were seen regularly.

(European) Green Woodpecker...
Seen, or at least heard, regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Kestrel...
Single figures were seen regularly. 

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles were seen regularly.

(Eurasian) Magpie...
Seen regularly.

(Western) Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

(Northern) Raven...
Up to four were seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Skylark...
Present Throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly, with a peak of 300 on the 22nd. 

(Barn) Swallow...
Present throughout.
Juvenile (Barn) Swallow July 2016  © Steve Groves
(Common) House Martin...
Single figures were seen occasionally.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

(Common) Chiffchaff...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Blackcap...
Present throughout.

(Common) Whitethroat...
Present throughout.

Sedge Warbler...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Reed Warbler...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Nuthatch...
One on the 1st.

(Eurasian) Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Wren...
Present throughout.

(Common) Blackbird...
Present throughout.

(European) Robin...
Present throughout.

(European) Stonechat...
One juvenile on the 27th.

Dunnock... 
Present throughout.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
One juvenile from the 9th to the 15th.

Grey Wagtail...
One on the 6th.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.

Rock Pipit...
Singles on the 21st, 23rd and 29th.

(Common) Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Bullfinch...
One was heard on the 5th.

(European) Greenfinch...
Present throughout.

(Common) Linnet...
Present throughout.

(European) Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

(Common) Reed Bunting...
Present throughout
Female (Common) Reed Bunting July 2016  © Steve Groves

...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to Alan Barrett, Ian McLean and Charlie Wheeler.


Scarlet Tiger Moth July 2016  © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


August sightings to follow shortly.