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, 15 November 2016

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - October 2016


Highlights...

The best birds of the month were two Whooper Swans... 

The two (adult) Whooper Swans October 2016 © Steve Groves


Other highlights included at least one Garganey, nine (Greater) Scaup, a Great Skua, a Short-eared Owl, several Yellow-browed Warblers and a Ring Ouzel.


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



Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 840 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th. This figure included around 240 Abbotsbury fledged cygnets, the most productive year for over 30 years.

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Whooper Swan...
Two were present on the 19th (the first since December 2010)...


The two (adult) Whooper Swans October 2016 
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography



One of the two Whooper Swans October 2016 © Steve Groves

Greylag Goose...
One on the 24th and 27th.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 240 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th

Barnacle Goose... 
One from the 11th to the 16th. 

(Common) Shelduck... 
Two on the 13th, one on the 16th.

(Eurasian) Wigeon...
Present throughout with a peak of 400 on the 18th

Gadwall...
Two on the 31st were the only ones of the month.

(Eurasian) Teal...
Present throughout with a peak of 900 on the 18th...


Adult male (Eurasian) Teal October 2016 © Steve Groves

Mallard...
Present throughout with 512 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

(Northern) Pintail...
Present throughout with a peak of 200 on several dates...

Male (Northern) Pintails October 2016 © Steve Groves

Female (Northern) Pintails October 2016 © Steve Groves

Garganey...
Single juveniles (or one and the same) were present on the 7th and 18th.

(Northern) Shoveler...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 4th...


 (Northern) Shovelers October 2016 © Steve Groves


(Common) Pochard... 
Present throughout with 130 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 170 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

(Greater) Scaup... 
The first of the autumn (an adult female) arrived on the 12th and by the end of the month nine were present (including two adult drakes)...


1st winter male & adult female (Greater) Scaups October 2016 © Steve Groves

Adult female (Greater) Scaups October 2016 © Steve Groves


Red-breasted Merganser...
What was presumed to be the over-summering female reappeared on the 4th but none were seen subsequently.

(Common) Pheasant...
Present throughout.

(Great) Cormorant...
Present throughout with around 30 roosting most evenings.

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


   Little Egret October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Grey Heron... 
Present throughout with two counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th...


   Grey Heron October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


Little Grebe... 
Present throughout with a peak of 19 on the 21st. 

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout with five counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

(Western) Marsh Harrier... 
Two juveniles were present on the 4th with at least one then seen regularly to the end of the month. In addition adult male was seen on the 12th, 16th and 19th.

(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

(Common) Buzzard... 
Seen regularly. 

Water Rail... 
Heard regularly.

(Common) Moorhen...
Present throughout with 12 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th

(Eurasian) Coot...
Present throughout with 510 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th 

(Common) Ringed Plover...
Singles on the 1st and 5th.

(Northern) Lapwing...
Present throughout with a peak of over 80 on the 20th 

Black-tailed Godwit...
Two on the 5th and one on the 21st.

(Ruddy) Turnstone...
One was present on the 16th. 

Dunlin...
Regular with a peak of four on the 13th...


Dunlin October 2016 © Steve Groves

Common Sandpiper...
Two on the 2nd and one on the 12th.

(Common) Greenshank...
One on the 1st.

(Common) Redshank...
Singles were seen regularly, while two were present from the 12th to the 16th.

(Common) Snipe...
Singles were seen regularly, while two were seen together on the 13th... 

Embedded
  (Common) Snipe October 2016 © Dave Callaby

Great Skua...
One was present briefly on the 16th (the first since October 2014)...


Great Skua October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Common Tern...
A first winter on the 15th was the first since August...


1st winter Common Tern October 2016 © Steve Groves
1st winter Common Tern October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 70 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 16th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regular with a peak of 14 on the 16th.

Common Gull...
Regular with a peak of  five on the 31st.

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

(European) Herring Gull...
Present throughout with no significant counts.

Yellow-legged Gull...
One first calendar year on the 7th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of  335 on the 16th. 

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

Stock Dove...
One on the 21st.

(Common) Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout, with movements noted on the 3rd when 17 flew west and on the 31st when 50 flew east. 

(Eurasian) Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Tawny Owl...
One was heard on the 1st.

Short-eared Owl...
One was seen on the 19th (the first since November 2015).

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

(European) Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Merlin...
Singles were present on the 13th and 26th, while two were seen together on the 21st.

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles were seen regularly while two were seen together on the 10th.

(Eurasian) Magpie...
Seen regularly.

(Eurasian) Jay...
The first two of the autumn were seen on the 2nd and thereafter singles were seen regularly. 

(Western) Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 27th.

(Northern) Raven...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 3rd.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

(Common) Firecrest...
One was trapped, ringed and released on the 7th (the first seen since November 2015).

(Eurasian) Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Bearded Reedling...
At least two were present on the 10th.

(Eurasian) Skylark...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 over on the 18th.

(Barn) Swallow...
Seen fairly regularly until the 27th with a peak of 300 on the 2nd.

(Common) House Martin...
Seen fairly regularly until the 13th with a peak of 200 on the 11th. 

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Yellow-browed Warbler...
In line with the rest of the country there was a marked arrival with up to two seen on the 10th; one on the 19th, up to three on the 25th (one of which was trapped ringed and released); one on the 26th and one (which was trapped, ringed and released) on the 28th...


Yellow-browed Warbler October 2016 © Steve Hales

(Common) Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 50 on the 2nd.

(Eurasian) Blackcap...
Single figures were seen regularly until the 26th at least.

(Common) Grasshopper Warbler...
One was trapped, ringed and released on the morning of the 3rd and what was presumably the same bird was seen that evening, while it or another in the same general area again on the 5th.

Sedge Warbler...
One was trapped, ringed and released on the 2nd.

(Eurasian) Reed Warbler...
Single figures were seen regularly until the 8th.

(Eurasian) Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Wren...
Present throughout.

(Common) Starling...
The roost built up to around 200 by the end of the month with feeding flocks of up to thirty in the surrounding meadows. In addition 100 flew west on the 21st and 200 on the 26th.

Ring Ouzel...
One was seen briefly on the 8th (the first since April 2013).

(Common) Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
Two on the 4th were the first since June but there were then regular sightings of up to three to the 29th at least.

Redwing...
One on the 11th was the first since November 2015 but there were then regular sightings of up to three to the 29th at least.

Mistle Thrush...
One on the 25th and 28th.

(European) Robin...
Present throughout.

(European) Stonechat...
Single figures were seen regularly...

(European) Stonechat October 2016 © Steve Groves


(Northern) Wheatear...
Singles on the 2nd and 19th...


(Northern) Wheatear October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


Dunnock... 
Present throughout.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
At least 10 were present on the 1st but thereafter there were only singles on the 4th and 7th. 

Grey Wagtail...
One to two were seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 200 in the roost on the 31st. Five individuals of the Continental/Icelandic form known as 'White Wagtail', were trapped, ringed and released (two on the 2nd and three on the 7th).


Pied Wagtail October 2016 © Steve Groves

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 2nd and 4th.

(Eurasian) Rock Pipit...
Up to two were seen regularly.


(Eurasian) Rock Pipit October 2016 © Steve Groves


(Common) Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

(European) Greenfinch...
One on the 24th was the first since June.

(Common) Linnet...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 4th.

Lesser Redpoll...
One heard on the 28th was the first since November 2015.

(European) Goldfinch...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 4th.

(Eurasian) Siskin...
Regular with a peak of at least 10 on a couple of dates.

(Common) Reed Bunting...
Present throughout with at least 10 on the 2nd


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

I'll leave you with Charlie's shot of (Northern) Pintails in flight...


(Northern) Pintails October 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


November's sightings to follow shortly. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - September 2016



A 'Blue-headed Wagtail' was probably the best bird of the month but other highlights included an Osprey, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Black Tern.


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



Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 710 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th. 

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 440 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th

Barnacle Goose... 
One was present on the 18th and 19th. 

(Eurasian) Wigeon...
One was seen on the 3rd but then regular from the 18th with a peak of 50 on the 29th.

Gadwall...
Three on the 20th.

(Eurasian) Teal...
Present throughout with 450 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 513 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

(Northern) Pintail...
The first three of the autumn arrived on the 14th. There were then near daily sightings with a peak of 200 on the 28th.

(Northern) Shoveler...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 29th.

(Common) Pochard... 
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 156 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Red-breasted Merganser... 
The over-summering female lingered until the 19th.


The female Red-breasted Merganser September 2016 © Steve Groves

(Common) Pheasant...
Present throughout.

(Northern) Gannet...
An adult flew over The Fleet on the 26th.

(Great) Cormorant...
Present throughout with 25 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with at least 20 in the roost on the 30th. 

Grey Heron... 
Present throughout with a peak of four on the 17th. 


1st winter Grey Heron September 2016 © Steve Groves

Little Grebe... 
Present throughout with 17 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th. 

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout with 40 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

(Western) Marsh Harrier... 
A juvenile was seen on the 18th, 20th and 23rd.


 Juvenile (Western) Marsh Harrier September 2016 © Steve Groves

(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk... 
Singles on the 4th, 5th and 26th. 

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

(Western) Osprey... 
One from the 11th to the 13th.

  (Western) Osprey September 2016 © Dave Callaby

Water Rail... 
Heard regularly from the 4th but one was not seen until the 29th.

(Common) Moorhen...
Present throughout with five counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th

(Eurasian) Coot...
Present throughout with 430 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th 

(Eurasian) Oystercatcher...
One on the 28th.

Grey Plover...
There was a marked passage from the 18th to the 28th involving at least 37 birds with the largest group of 18 seen on the 18th.

(Common) Ringed Plover...
Singles on the 18th, 20th and 22nd; seven on the 19th.

(Northern) Lapwing...
Present throughout with the flock building up from nine to 12 by the end of the month.


  (Northern) Lapwing September 2016 © Steve Groves

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

(Eurasian) Curlew...
Three on the 7th.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Seen regularly with a peak of  34 on the 5th.


   Black-tailed Godwit September 2016 © Steve Groves

Bar-tailed Godwit...
One or two were seen regularly but there were three on the 17th and 18th.


   Bar-tailed Godwit (with Mute Swan) September 2016 © Steve Groves

(Ruddy) Turnstone...
Two on the 4th and 17th, one on the 27th and two on the 28th.


   (Ruddy) Turnstone September 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

(Red) Knot...
One from the 1st to the 3rd; three on the 23rd.

Ruff...
One on Meadow Pool on the 5th.


Juvenile Ruff (with (Eurasian) Teal) September 2016 © Steve Groves

Curlew Sandpiper...
One was seen on the 21st.

Sanderling...
Two on the Chesil/Fleet shoreline on the 17th.

Dunlin...
Regular with a peak of 12 on the 21st.


Juvenile Dunlins September 2016 © Steve Groves

Common Sandpiper...
From one to five were seen almost daily.


Common Sandpiper September 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Green Sandpiper...
One on the 2nd.

(Common) Greenshank...
Two were regular from the 2nd to 5th and at least one was heard on the 13th.

(Common) Redshank...
One on the 17th.

(Common) Snipe...
Singles were seen regularly from the 8th with a peak of at least three on the 19th.

Black Tern...
One (a juvenile) on the 2nd was the first since August 2014 and the only tern of the month!

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 180 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Mediterranean Gull...
At least one was seen regularly from the 2nd to the 4th, whilst over thirty were present on the 28th.

Common Gull...
Three on the 20th and one on the 23rd.

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

(European) Herring Gull...
Present throughout with no significant counts.

Yellow-legged Gull...
Single first calendar year birds were seen regularly.

1st calendar year Yellow-legged Gull September 2016 © Steve Groves

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 200 on the 3rd. 

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

(Common) Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Tawny Owl...
One was heard on the 17th.

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

(European) Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

(Common) Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Merlin...
One on the 2nd was the first since October 2015.

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles on the 4th and 7th.

(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 with a peak of 10 over on the 22nd.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of 10 on the 17th. 

(Barn) Swallow...
Seen regularly with a peak of 100 on the 17th.

(Common) House Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of 10 on the 17th. 

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

(Common) Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 50 on the 23rd.


 (Common) Chiffchaff September 2016 © Steve Groves


Willow Warbler...
A few were still being noted in the first half of the month with at least 10 on the 5th but none were seen after mid-month.

(Eurasian) Blackcap...
Present throughout.

(Common) Whitethroat...
Singles seen regularly until the 23rd.

Sedge Warbler...
Seen regularly.

(Eurasian) Reed Warbler...
Seen regularly.

(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.

Spotted Flycatcher...
One on the 2oth/21st.

Whinchat...
One to two were regular from the 3rd to the 8th and again on the 18th/19th.

(European) Stonechat...
One to two were seen regularly.

(Northern) Wheatear...
Seen regularly until the 23rd with a peak of at least five on the 5th.


(Northern) Wheatear September 2016 © Steve Groves

Dunnock... 
Present throughout.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Regular with a peak of 500 in the roost on the 5th, the same day that one of the Continental form known as 'Blue-headed Wagtail', was trapped, ringed and released. 

Grey Wagtail...
One to two were seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 30 in the roost on the 14th. Two of the Continental/Icelandic form known as 'White Wagtail', were trapped, ringed and released on the 21st. 

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout with a peak of 300 east on the 17th.

(Eurasian) Rock Pipit...
Singles were seen regularly.

(Common) Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

(Common) Linnet...
Present throughout.

(European) Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

(Eurasian) Siskin...
One, the first of the autumn, was heard on the 22nd.

(Common) Reed Bunting...
Present throughout


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

I'll leave you with Charlie's shot of a Convolvulus Hawk-moth that was seen this September...

Convolvulus Hawk-moth September 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

October's sightings to follow shortly.