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.



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. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird News - December 2016

Highlights...


There were four official 'Scarce Migrants' this month and these were... a Cattle Egret, yet another Yellow-browed Warbler and two Richard's Pipits. Other highlights included a Hen Harrier, twelve Scaups and three Long-tailed Ducks.


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



Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 415 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th. 

Black Swan...
Two were seen regularly.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 47 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th

Shelduck... 
Seen regularly with eight counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Wigeon...
Present throughout with 102 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Gadwall...
Seen regularly with a peak of nine on the 5th.

Teal...
Present throughout with a peak of 600 on the 14th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 514 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Pintail...
Present throughout with a peak of 30 on the 14th.

Shoveler...
Present throughout with a peak of 60 on the 5th...

Drake Shoveler with Coots December  2016
 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 315 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 290 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Scaup... 
Seen regularly with a peak of twelve from the 17th to the 30th at least...

Female Scaups (adult & 1st winter) December 2016 © Steve Groves

Long-tailed Duck...
Last month's first winter bird was joined by another on the 11th and then another on the 17th. All three were still present to the 30th at least.

Goldeneye...
Three were present just to the southeast of the embayment on the 18th at least.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Seen regularly with a peak of twelve counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with four counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th...

 Cormorant December 2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Cattle Egret... 
One was seen briefly on the 30th. The first since October 2015.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with five counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Grey Heron... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout with 24 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

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

Marsh Harrier... 
A single immature was seen regularly to the 18th...

Marsh Harrier December 2016 © Steve Groves

Hen Harrier...
A 'ringtail' was seen on the 18th and 20th (the first since November 2013).

Buzzard... 
Seen regularly. 

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

Moorhen...
Present throughout with 22 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th

Coot...
Present throughout with 735 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th...

 Coots December  2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Lapwing...
Present throughout with a peak of 200 on a few dates...

 Lapwings December  2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Turnstone...
Two on the 18th and 19th.

Ruff...
One on the 18th.

Dunlin...
One on the 7th.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of five on the 14th...

 Redshank December 2016 © Steve Groves

Jack Snipe...
One on the 1st (the first since March).

Snipe...
Present throughout with 24 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 66 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Regular with a peak of 70 on the 7th...

Adult  Mediterannean Gull (right) with 1st winter Herring Gull & adult Common Gulls December  2016 © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

Common Gull...
Present throughout with a peak of 450 on the 14th...

Adult Common Gulls December 2016 © Steve Groves

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

Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 24 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with twelve counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 18th. 

Feral/Domestic Dove...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout. 

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Kingfisher...
One or two were seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Peregrine Falcon...
Singles were seen on the 17th and 19th.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jay...
One on the 18th. 

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.

Yellow-browed Warbler...
One was seen or at least heard, regularly from the 1st to the 14th (the first December record for The Swannery).

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with at least five present on a few dates.

Blackcap...
One on the 9th.

Treecreeper...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
Seen regularly but the roost became almost nonexistent with presumably the majority moving to the nearby Cogden reedbed, with for instance 1,000 seen flying west at dusk on the 14th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
One was heard on the 5th and at least five were seen on the 7th.

Song Thrush...
Seen regularly.

Redwing...
Singles were heard on the 5th and 14th but at least 500 were present at first light on the 15th.

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...
Two were found on the 15th and were then seen regularly until the 29th at least. These are the 3rd and 4th for the recording area. The previous records were - one flying west on 25th October 2014 and - one from 15th to the 19th November 1994...

Very poor record shot of one of the two Richard's Pipits  December 2016 
© Steve Groves

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout with a peak of 50 on the 26th at least...

 Meadow Pipit December 2016 © Steve Groves, 
if only the Richard's Pipits had been so approachable!

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

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
Up to three were seen, or at least heard,  regularly.

Greenfinch...
One or two were seen on the 6th and again on the 14th.  

Linnet...
Seen regularly with over thirty seen on the 19th.

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 and where applicable for the use of their images

I'll leave you with a shot taken on the way to work one morning this month...

'The Swannery Meadows at Dawn' - December 2016 © Steve Groves

January's 2017 sightings to follow shortly.