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, 10 October 2021

Swannery Bird Sightings - September 2021...

 

Highlights...

Undoubtedly this month's best sightings were of a Spotted Crake, six Cranes and an Ortolan Bunting. Also of note however were a Garganey, four Black-necked Grebes and two Grey Phalaropes.


Black-necked Grebe (in summer plumage), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 
© Joe Stockwell

Black-necked Grebe (in winter plumage), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 
© Joe Stockwell



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

Canada Goose...
Present throughout, 28 were present during the Wetland Bird Survey count on the 12th.

Black Swan...
Three were present to the 21st but were not seen subsequently.

Mute Swan...
Present throughout. 680 adults/subadults were present during the Wetland Bird Survey count on the 12th. In addition there were around 150 cygnets present.

Whooper Swan...
The resident (presumed escape) was present throughout.

Common Shelduck...
Present throughout, with a peak count of 18 on the 2nd. 

Garganey... 
One present from the 4th to the 6th and again on the 11th was no doubt the same bird seen in August.

Shoveler...
Present throughout, with a peak count of 80 on the 21st.

Gadwall... 
There were sightings of one on the 6th, two on the 12th and two on the 26th. 

Gadwall (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Steve Groves


Wigeon... 
Present throughout, with a peak counts of 100 on the 21st and 25th.

Mallard...
Present throughout, 5350 were present during the Wetland Bird Survey count on the 12th.

Pintail...
Present throughout, with a peak count of 250 on the 25th.

Teal...
Present throughout, with a peak count of 400 on the 16th.

Pochard... 
Present throughout, with a peak count of 75 on the 25th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout, with a peak count of 150 on the 25th.  

Pheasant... 
Present throughout.

Swift... 
Three relatively late birds were seen on the 1st and again on the 4th.

Domestic/Feral Pigeon... 
The usual mixed flock of wandering dovecote birds, racers and feral birds visited daily.

Stock Dove... 
One or two were seen regularly but four were seen on the 13th.

Woodpigeon... 
Present throughout.

Collared Dove... 
Regularly encountered.

Water Rail... 
No doubt present throughout but three seen on the 22nd was the highest count.

Spotted Crake... 
One trapped and released on the 14th was the first Swannery record since August 2009!

Moorhen... 
Present throughout. 

Coot... 
Present throughout. 380 were present during the Wetland Bird Survey count on the 12th.
 
Crane... 
Six flew over high to the southeast on the 29th . They were believed to be the same six birds (probably a family party) that were seen at various localities on their way south from the small self established population that breed at Strathbeg in Scotland. This was the first Swannery record since the two in that flew over in April 2015.

CranesAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Joe Stockwell


Little Grebe... 
Present throughout. 17 were present during the Wetland Bird Survey count on the 12th.

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout with a peak count of at least 40 on the 2nd.

Black-necked Grebe... 
Following on from the three that arrived at the end of August... there were up to four present from the 2nd to the 16th and then up to two present to the 3oth.

Black-necked Grebe (in summer plumage), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 
© Charlie Wheeler

Black-necked Grebe (in summer plumage), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 
© Charlie Wheeler


Oystercatcher... 
Singles on the 16th/17th and again on the 29th/30th.

Lapwing... 
Present throughout much of the month with a peak count of 10 from the 21st to the 23rd. 

Grey Plover... 
One on the 22nd. 

Ringed Plover... 
Singles were noted on the 1st and 14th but two were present on the 19th and 22nd.

Whimbrel... 
One on the 17th.

Curlew... 
At least two were heard on the 22nd.

Bar-tailed Godwit... 
One on the 15th.

Black-tailed Godwit... 
One or two were seen regularly through the month but eight were seen on the 9th and three on the 11th.

Turnstone... 
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of nine on the 2nd. 

Knot... 
Singles were seen on the 3rd and 9th but two were present on the 13th.

Sanderling... 
Three were seen on the 17th and one on the 18th.

Dunlin...
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of 75 on the 1st. 

Snipe...
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of nine on the 3rd. 

Grey Phalarope...
Two were present on the 30th (the first since October 2020).

Common Sandpiper...
Noted on virtually a daily basis with a peak of seven on the 2nd, 4th and 9th. 

Green Sandpiper...
One to three were seen regularly until the 25th but five were present on the 3rd.

Redshank...
From one to three were seen on virtually a daily basis.

RedshankAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Joe Stockwell


Greenshank...
There were regular sightings of one or two through the month but three were present on the 8th, six on the 15th and four on the 18th. 

GreenshanksAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Steve Groves


Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with a peak count of at least 200 on the 3rd.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regularly encountered with a peak count of at least 50 on the 3rd. 

Common Gull...
One to three were seen on five dates from the 12th to the 30th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout, with at least 100 present on the 9th.

Herring Gull...
Present throughout.

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
One or two were encountered fairly regularly.

Sandwich Tern...
Five were seen on the 6th and two on the 13th. 

Cormorant...
Present throughout with a peak count of at least 75 on the 4th.

Cattle Egret...
Regularly encountered with a peak of 10 on the 26th. 

Grey Heron...
Noted on virtually a daily basis with a peak count of at least 6 on the 16th.

Grey Heron (with Flounder), Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Steve Groves


Great Egret...
Singles were seen on the 5th and 20th (the first since May).

Little Egret...
Present throughout with a peak count of at least 30 on the 30th.

Osprey...
Singles were seen on five dates between the 1st on 15th.

Sparrowhawk...
Singles were seen on five dates.

SparrowhawkAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Steve Groves


Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen regularly through the month.

Buzzard...
Present throughout.

Little Owl..
One on the 25th was the first since June 2020. 

Tawny Owl..
One or two were heard regularly.

Kingfisher..
Up to three (at least) were seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker..
Singles were noted regularly.

Green Woodpecker..
Present throughout, with at least one or two seen regularly. 

Kestrel...
Present throughout.

Merlin...
Singles were seen on the 5th, 10th and 13th (the first since February).

Hobby...
Singles were seen on the 3rd, 5th and 26th.

Peregrine...
Singles were seen on  five dates.

Jay...
Three on the 26th were the first since April. 

Magpie...
Present throughout. 

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout. 

Raven...
One or two were noted regularly.

Coal Tit...
At least one or two were regularly encountered.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Sand Martin...
A few were noted to mid-month but not subsequently.

Swallow...
Present throughout, with a peak count of at least 1,000 on the 13th.

House Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak count of at least 100 on several dates.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout. 

Long-tailed Tit...
Regularly encountered, with a peak count of at least 10 on several dates.

Willow Warbler...
Regularly encountered until the 11th with at least 50 noted on the 4th.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with at least 100 noted on the 20th.

Sedge Warbler...
Regularly encountered with at least 10 noted on the 6th. 

Reed Warbler...
Regularly encountered with at least 10 noted on several dates. 

Grasshopper Warbler...
Two were seen on the 5th.

Grasshopper WarblerAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2021 © Joe Stockwell


Blackcap...
Regularly encountered with at least 10 noted on several dates. 

Lesser Whitethroat...
Singles were seen on the 3rd and 4th.

Whitethroat...
Regularly encountered to the 17th, with a peak count of at least five on the 4th.

Firecrest...
One was noted on the 9th.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
One or two were noted regularly.

Starling...
The nightly roost held at least 150 mid-month and smaller numbers were regularly encountered during the day. 

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Spotted Flycatcher...
Noted on six dates between the 1st and 19th with a peak of four on the 3rd.

Robin...
Present throughout with at least 30 noted on the 11th. 

Pied Flycatcher...
One was seen on the 9th.

Redstart...
Singles were seen on the 5th and 6th.

Whinchat...
Noted regularly from the 1st to the 21st with a peak of at least 10 on the 4th.

Stonechat...
Present throughout with a peak of at least seven on two dates.

Wheatear...
Noted regularly from the 3rd to the 16th with a peak of at least 15 on the 6th.

House Sparrow...
Present in the gardens of the adjacent Grove Lane throughout.  

Dunnock...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Present throughout much of the month with a peak count of at least 400 on the 3rd.

Grey Wagtail...
Regularly encountered with a peak of at least nine on the 15th.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

White Wagtail...
Two were noted on the 21st (the first since October 2020).

Meadow Pipit...
Regularly encountered with a peak of at least 300 on the 15th.

Tree Pipit...
There were five noted on the 4th followed by singles on the 6th, 7th and 9th.  

Rock Pipit...
One on the 6th was the first since March. 

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Greenfinch...
The only record was of one on the 19th.

Linnet...
Regularly encountered, with flocks of 20 plus on several dates.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout with a flock of at least 50 noted on several dates. 

Siskin...
One on the 20th was the first since April. 

Ortolan Bunting...
One that flew over on the 6th was only the third Swannery record (the last being in August 2018), whilst another 'probable' was heard and seen poorly on the 13th. 

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.


... And that's it for this post except to thank, Alan Barrett, Kev Butler, Steve Hales, Ben Sheldon, Joe Stockwell, Nick Urch, Charlie Wheeler (and a few other birders) for additional sightings. Also an extra thanks to Ben, Charlie and Joe for the use of their photos. 

October bird news will be published in due course.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Swannery Bird Sightings - August 2021...

Highlights...

There were no official national or county rarities this month but scarce migrants included a Garganey, three Black-necked Grebes, three Little Stints, a Wood Sandpiper, a Little Gull, four Cattle Egrets and at least two Ospreys.

Black-necked GrebesAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Joe Stockwell

Little StintAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Kev Butler

Wood SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves



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

Canada Goose...
Present throughout, with a peak count of over 800 on the 11th.

Snow Goose...
The individual that arrived in June was present through much of the month. 

Black Swan...
The over-summering individual was joined by two others on the 23rd and then all three were present to the end of the month.

Mute Swan...
Present throughout. 665 adults/subadults were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 25th. In addition there were around 150 cygnets present.

Whooper Swan...
The resident (presumed escape) was present throughout.

Common Shelduck...
Present throughout, with a peak count of 18 on the 17th. 

Garganey... 
One was present on the 31st, the first since April.

Garganey TealAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Shoveler...
The two in July were still present on the 1st but from the 2nd numbers began to steadily increase to a peak count of forty on the 28th/29th.

Gadwall... 
There were sightings of two on the 3rd, one on the 5th and two on the 29th. 

Wigeon... 
A single that arrived on the 24th was the first since April. There were then regular sightings however, with a peak count of at least 15 on the 31st. 

Mallard...
Present throughout, with 560 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 25th. 

Pintail...
The resident drake was present throughout but the first 20 returning migrants were seen on the 25th and there were then daily sightings, with a peak count of over 30 on the 30th.

PintailShoveler & WigeonAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Teal...
Present pretty much throughout with numbers steadily building from two on the 4th to over 200 on the 29th.

Pochard... 
Absent since the 16th July the first two returning August birds arrived on the 17th, with numbers then building to a peak count of 28 on the 25th and with a similar number then present to the month's end.  

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout, with a peak count of over 20 on the 25th.  

Red-legged Partridge... 
One or two were seen on five dates through the month.

Pheasant... 
Present throughout.

Swift... 
Regularly encountered throughout with a peak count of at least 15 on the 11th. All subsequent sightings though were of either just one or two. 

Domestic/Feral Pigeon... 
The usual mixed flock of wandering dovecote birds, racers and feral birds visited daily.

Stock Dove... 
One or two were seen regularly but four were seen on the 4th.

Woodpigeon... 
Present throughout.

Collared Dove... 
Regularly encountered.

Water Rail... 
One was heard on the 16th and one was glimpsed on the 17th.

Moorhen... 
Present throughout. 

Coot... 
Present throughout. 280 were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 22nd. 

Little Grebe... 
Recorded fairly regularly with a peak count of 10 on the 31st. 

Great Crested Grebe... 
Present throughout with a peak count of at least 58 on the 29th.

Black-necked Grebe... 
Three on the 30th/31st were slightly unseasonal.

Black-necked GrebesAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Joe Stockwell

Oystercatcher... 
Regularly encountered until the 20th (but not subsequently) with a peak count of six on the 1st.

Lapwing... 
Present throughout much of the month with a peak count of eight on the 14th. 

Grey Plover... 
One on the 17th/18th. 

Ringed Plover... 
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of at least 12 on the18th. 

Little Ringed Plover... 
One on the 2nd and two on the 10th.

Whimbrel... 
Singles were noted on on six dates between the 7th and 20th.

Curlew... 
Singles on the 3rd, 22nd and 27th.

Bar-tailed Godwit... 
Two on the 12th and one on the 19th.

Black-tailed Godwit... 
Singles on the 7th, 9th and 23rd.

Turnstone... 
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of nine on the 30th. 

Knot... 
Four were present from the 15th to the 18th but with one lingering to the 21st.

Ruff... 
One seen briefly on the 23rd was the first since June 2020.

Sanderling... 
Two were seen on the 19th and one on the 22nd. The first since early June.

Dunlin...
Present on virtually a daily basis with a peak count of at least 70 on the 18th. 

Little Stint...
One to three (but mostly two) were seen daily from the 26th to the 31st. The first since September 2020.

Little StintAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Joe Stockwell

Snipe...
The first of the autumn was seen on the 14th and there were then regular sightings with a peak of three on the 29th. 

Common Sandpiper...
Present throughout much of the month with a peak count of seven on the 8th. 

Common SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Joe Stockwell

Green Sandpiper...
One to three were seen regularly until the 25th but five were present on the 3rd.

Redshank...
There were regular sightings from the 10th with a peak count of eight on the 17th.

Wood Sandpiper...
One from the 16th to the 22nd was the first since August 2020.

Wood SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Greenshank...
There were regular sightings of one or two through the month but five were present on the 28th and eight on the 30th. 

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with peak counts of at least 200 on the 5th and 10th.

Little Gull...
One seen on the 31st was the first since May.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of at least 30 on the 10th. 

Common Gull...
One (or at least singles) were seen fairly regularly but two were present on the 23rd.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout, with at least 50 roosting nightly.

Herring Gull...
Present throughout, with a peak count of at least 100 on the 11th.

Yellow-legged Gull...
One or two 1st calendar years were seen fairly regularly but three were present on the 8th and 11th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
One or two were encountered fairly regularly but at least five were seen on the 22nd.

Sandwich Tern...
Regularly encountered through the month with a peak count of five on the 20th. 

Common Tern...
At least 10 were still present on the 1st but the only other sighting was of one seen on the 14th/15th.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with a peak count of 67 on the 26th.

Cattle Egret...
Four were present on the 25th. 

Grey Heron...
One to three were seen daily.

Little Egret...
Present throughout with a peak count of 18 on the 15th.

Osprey...
Singles were seen regularly from the 20th but two were present on the 29th.

OspreyAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Sparrowhawk...
Singles were seen on the 16th, 28th and 31st.

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen on the 1st, 10th and 11th.

Buzzard...
Present throughout.

Barn Owl..
Singles were noted regularly until the 15th but not subsequently. 

Tawny Owl..
One or two were noted regularly.

Kingfisher..
Singles were seen regularly from the 14th but three were present on the 23rd.

Great Spotted Woodpecker..
A single on the 5th was the only one noted.

Green Woodpecker..
Present throughout, with at least one or two seen regularly. 

Kestrel...
Present throughout, with up to five seen regularly.

Hobby...
Singles were seen on the 26th and 29th.

Peregrine...
Singles were seen on four dates.

Magpie...
Present throughout. 

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout. 

Raven...
One or two were noted regularly.

Coal Tit...
At least one or two were regularly encountered.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly, with a peak count of at least 1,000 on the 25th.

Swallow...
Present throughout, with a peak count of at least 2,000 on the 25th.

SwallowsAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

House Martin...
Seen regularly, with a peak count of at least 100 on the 31st.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout. 

Long-tailed Tit...
Regularly encountered, with a peak count of at least 10 on several dates.

Willow Warbler...
Present throughout with at least 50 noted on the 23rd.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with at least 10 noted on several dates.

Sedge Warbler...
Present throughout with at least 10 noted on the 4th. 

Reed Warbler...
Present throughout with at least 10 noted on several dates.

Grasshopper Warbler...
Singles were seen on the 4th and 16th.

Blackcap...
Present throughout with at least 10 noted on the 5th. 

Garden Warbler...
Singles were seen on the 25th and 28th.

Whitethroat...
Regularly encountered with a peak count of at least 4 on the 27th.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
One or two were noted regularly.

Starling...
The nightly roost regularly held over 100 and smaller numbers were regularly encountered during the day. 

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
Only noted on two dates but no doubt present throughout. 

Mistle Thrush...
The only record was of six on the 24th. 

Spotted Flycatcher...
Four present on the 24th, one on the 25th and two on the 27th were the first since May.

Robin...
Present throughout. 

Pied Flycatcher...
One on the 24th was the first since September 2020.

Redstart...
Singles on the 24th and 27th were the first since April.

Whinchat...
At least 10 were present on the 25th, three on the 27th, four on the 30th and at least one on the 31st. These were the first since April.

WhinchatsAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Stonechat...
A nesting pair and their subsequent young were present throughout.

Wheatear...
At least four present on the 16th were the first since June. There were then daily sightings from the 16th to the end of the month with a peak count of at least 30 on the 25th.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.  

Dunnock...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Ten on the 10th and five on the 18th were followed by daily sightings from the 22nd, with a peak count of at least 90 on the 28th.

Yellow WagtailAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves

Grey Wagtail...
Singles were noted on the 19th, 25th and 27th. The first since May.

Pied Wagtail...
Regularly encountered.

Meadow Pipit...
The only record was of one on the 11th.

Tree Pipit...
One on the 24th and two on the 27th were the first since September 2020.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
The only record was of one on the 20th.

Linnet...
Regularly encountered.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout with a flock of at least 50 noted on the 24th.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.


... And that's it for this post except to thank, Alan Barrett, Kev Butler, Joe Stockwell, Nick Urch, Charlie Wheeler (and a few visiting birders) for additional sightings. Also an extra thanks to Joe and Kev for the use of their photos. 

September bird news will be published in due course but for now I'll leave you with a couple of this month's non-bird images...


Ruddy DarterAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Joe Stockwell

Roe DeerAbbotsbury Swannery, August 2021 © Steve Groves