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, 26 August 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - July 2017

Highlights...


There were several sightings of Cattle Egrets, including a flock of ten! Also at least two Roseate Terns were seen, one of which was joined briefly by the regularly returning putative 'Siberian Common Tern'.


The ten Cattle Egrets (with a Black-headed Gull), 
Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography


Above two photos...  Roseate Tern ('bird 1' with Common Terns), 
Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography


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



Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 800 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Greylag Goose...
One on the 30th/31st.
The Greylag Goose Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 710 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Shelduck...
Present throughout with eighteen counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Gadwall...
At least one was present on the 18th, 30th and 31st.

Teal...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 23rd.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 228 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Pintail...
The over-summering drake was present throughout.

Shoveler...
Present throughout with at least thirteen seen on the 18th.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with three counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with nine counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with at least 30 in the roost most evenings.

Cattle Egret... 
There were several records this month with an unprecedented ten present briefly on the 12th; one on the 15th; one on the 25th and a family party of three on the 30th/31st...




Above two photos... the ten Cattle EgretsAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Cattle Egret (one of the singles), Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves


Little Egret... 
Present throughout with eleven counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Grey Heron... 
Singles were seen regularly.

Little Grebe...
At least three were present throughout.

Great Crested Grebe...
Present throughout with 22 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.

Red Kite...
Two flew over on the 3rd.

Marsh Harrier...
Singles on the 14th, 24th and 31st.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly. 

Moorhen...
Present throughout.

Coot...
Present throughout with 210 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd

Oystercatcher...
The three nesting pairs and their three fledged young were present throughout much of the month.

Little Ringed Plover...
One on the 7th.

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

Whimbrel...
At least two were seen on the 7th.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Singles on the 17th and 31st.

Dunlin...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least ten on the 26th..

DunlinAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves


Common Sandpiper...
Seen regularly with a peak of five on the 14th...


Common SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography


Green Sandpiper...
Singles on the 2nd and 6th; three on the 8th and two on the 9th.

Redshank...
Two on the 5th; three on the 8th; three on the 12th and three on the 31st.

Sandwich Tern...
Seen regularly, with a peak of four on the 26th.

Common Tern...
Over 200 adults and fledged young were present throughout much of the month...






Above four photos... Common TernsAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Common Tern (fledgling), Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves


'Siberian Common Tern'...
The regular putative individual was seen on the 13th.

Roseate Tern...
One (with a single ring) was seen regularly from the 4th to the 9th, while another individual (with two rings) visited on the 12th and 13th...

 Roseate Tern ('bird 1', with Common Terns), Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Steve Groves

Roseate Tern ('bird 2'), Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Steve Groves

Kittiwake...
One (an adult) was present on the 30th (the first since February 2014).

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 450 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 23rd.


Black-headed GullAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over twenty on the 19th.

Common Gull...
One on the 25th.

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

Herring Gull...
Seen regularly with over fifty present on the 26th.

Yellow-legged Gull...
Single juveniles were seen on the 15th and the 25th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with over eighty present on the 26th.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Stock Dove...
One on the 15th. 

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
One was heard on the 12th.

Tawny Owl...
Two fleged young were seen on the 4th and singles were then seen or at least heard regularly...


Tawny Owl (fledgling), Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Swift...
Seen regularly, with a peak of over twenty on the 1st.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Singles were seen regularly...



Above two photos... KestrelAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves

Peregrine...
Singles on the 21st and 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...
Seen, or at least heard, regularly.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 200 on the 5th.

Swallow...
Present throughout.

House Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of over twenty on the 30th.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout.

Willow Warbler...
Seen, or at least heard regularly from the 19th.

Blackcap...
Present throughout.

Whitethroat...
Present throughout.

Sedge Warbler...
Present throughout.

Reed Warbler...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
One on the 22nd and 24th.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least 100 on a couple of dates.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
At least one was seen or at least heard regularly.

Robin...
Present throughout. 

Stonechat...
Present throughout.

Wheatear...
One on the 23rd.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Singles were regular from the 25th.

Grey Wagtail...
One on the 30th.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout...

Pied WagtailAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves

Rock Pipit...
One on the 10th.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
Present throughout.

Linnet...
Present throughout.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout...

GoldfinchesAbbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 © Steve Groves


Siskin...
One on the 18th.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.


...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Charlie Wheeler for the use of his images. Alan Barrett,  Richard Philips & Nick Urch for help with the Swannery WeBS. Steve Hales for ringing the terns etc... and all of the above, plus my other colleagues, for additional sightings. 

I'll leave you with a few images of the tern ringing in early July...


Steve Hales ringing the Common Tern & Black-headed Gull chicks, July 2017. Around 70–80  pairs of the former fledged around 140-145 chicks (141 ringed). 
About 7 pairs of the latter fledged 19 chicks (13 ringed). 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Common Tern chick, Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography

Black-headed Gull chick, Abbotsbury Swannery, July 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler Charlie Wheeler Photography



August's sightings to follow shortly.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - June 2017

Highlights...


Potentially the rarest bird of the month was a putative 'Siberian Common Tern'. The only other rarities (at least at a county level) were two Cattle Egrets, whilst the only other bird to qualify for a mention on the bird info services was a Little Gull.
The putative 'Siberian Common TernAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 
© Steve Groves


The 1st calendar year Little Gull (with Common Tern & Black-headed Gull)
Abbotsbury Swannery, June 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 460 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 670 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Shelduck...
Present throughout with 72 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Gadwall...
Seen regularly until the 21st, with a peak of seven on the 11th.

Teal...
Singles on the 12th and 15th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 195 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Pintail...
The over-summering drake was present throughout.

Shoveler...
A pair were present on the 1st and 3rd.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 21 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Common Scoter... 
A (second calendar year?) female was present from the 11th to the 14th.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with at least 40 in the roost on the 29th.

Cattle Egret... 
Two flew north on the 3rd.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with 20 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Grey Heron... 
Seen regularly, with a peak of nine on the 3rd.

Little Grebe...
Up to two were seen regularly from the 11th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Present throughout with 27 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Red Kite...
Two flew over on the 3rd.

Marsh Harrier...
One on the 5th and from the 20th to the 23rd.

Sparrowhawk... 
One on the 25th.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly. 

Moorhen...
Present throughout.

Coot...
Present throughout with 116 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th. 

Oystercatcher...
The three nesting pairs and their three young were present throughout...
One of the Oystercatcher families, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler


Lapwing...
Present throughout with a peak of eight on the 19th.

Curlew...
One on the 5th, two on the 9th and four on the 29th.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Seen fairly regularly, with a peak of ten on the 12th.

Turnstone...
Two on the 3rd...
TurnstonesAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves

TurnstoneAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Common Sandpiper...
One on the 28th/29th.

Green Sandpiper...
Singles on the 20th and 29th.
Green Sandpiper, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Greenshank...
One on the 12th...
GreenshankAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Redshank...
One on the 19th and five on the 20th.

Sandwich Tern...
Seen regularly, with a peak of at least eight on the 13th.

Common Tern...
Present throughout with over seventy pairs nesting. In addition to these birds of the nominate form hirundo, there was also an individual on the 13th/14th at least, which showed characters of the eastern form longipennis, often referred to as 'Siberian Common Tern'. This latter form is not even recognised by the BOURC as having occurred in Britain yet, despite some good recent claims...
The putative 'Siberian Common Tern' (with nominate Common Tern), 
Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler
Common Tern (adult), Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Common Tern (1st calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 13 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 14th (although several unfledged young were also present)...
Black-headed Gull, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Little  Gull...
A second calendar year was present on the 12th/13th...
The 1st calendar year Little Gull (with 1st cy & adult Common Terns)
Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves

The 1st calendar year Little Gull (with Common Tern)
Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 15th...
Adult Mediterranean Gull (with Black-headed Gulls & Common Tern), 
Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Common Gull...
Singles on the 15th and 21st.

Herring Gull...
Singles figures were seen regularly.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with ten  counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 11th.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Stock Dove...
Heard on the 30th. 

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Tawny Owl...
Singles were seen on the 16th and 28th.

Swift...
Ten plus were seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Singles were seen regularly.

Hobby...
One on the 16th.

Peregrine...
One on the 15th.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly, with at least five present on the 3rd.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Seen, or at least heard, regularly.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least twenty on the 17th.

Swallow...
Present throughout...
Swallow, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


House Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least thirty on the 6th.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout.

Blackcap...
Present throughout.

Lesser Whitethroat...
One was heard on the 1st.

Whitethroat...
Present throughout...
Whitethroat (juv.), Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Sedge Warbler...
Present throughout.

Reed Warbler...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout...
Wren (juv.), Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Starling...
At least fifty were regular from the 18th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
At least one was seen or at least heard, regularly from the 17th.

Mistle Thrush...
At least one was seen, or at least heard, regularly to the 13th but not subsequently.

Robin...
Present throughout. 

Stonechat...
Present throughout. 


Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

House Sparrow...
Present throughout. 

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
Present throughout.

Greenfinch...
Singles on the 7th and 23rd.

Linnet...
Present throughout...
LinnetAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Goldfinch...
Present throughout.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.


...And that's it for this month except to say thanks to Charlie Wheeler for the use of his images. Check out Charlie's website by clicking the following link  Charlie Wheeler PhotographyAlso thanks to Alan Barrett,  Richard Philips & Nick Urch for help with the WeBS at The Swannery and  for all of the above, plus my other colleagues, for additional sightings. 

I'll leave you with a few images of the many interesting insects seen at The Swannery this June...

Golden-ringed DragonflyAbbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Steve Groves


Peppered Moth, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Peppered Moth, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Poplar Hawk-moth, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Poplar Hawk-moth, Abbotsbury Swannery, June 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


July's sightings to follow shortly.