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, 15 October 2011

Brief Encounters

Friday 14th October
As I'm working this weekend I had today off and as I had chores to do I didn't get down to The Swannery proper to check whether yesterday's Yellow-browed was still present but I did manage a quick check of Chapel Withybed and a scan of the meadow from Chapel Hill. There were  several Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests in the withies and small numbers of Siskins, Skylarks, Starlings and Meadow Pipits heading northwest but the highlight was several Crossbills calling but they were so high I couldn't pick them up. Workmate Charlie though did have a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull settled on The Fleet.
1st winter Mediterranean Gull (left) with Black-headed Gull (Charlie Wheeler).

Saturday 15th October
It was 'Release Day' today...when all the cygnets are ringed and those that had been penned for the summer are given their freedom and as we were very busy I didn't have a lot of time to bird. During the morning feed though I picked up a Calidrid sandpiper calling overhead a 'krrrt' krrrt' and instantly suspected Pectoral Sandpiper. A quick view as it sped past was enough to confirm the id but I then lost it in the sun and it appeared to carry on east down The Fleet. Despite checking the meadow pool, that has played host to several of these scarce migrant American and Siberian waders in the past, it never reappeared. There was however a nice selection of other species there including...

Male Wigeon
Male Shoveler
A 'wisp' of Common Snipe
Immature Grey Heron and a pair of Pintail
Other highlights were 6 Redpolls over, a single momentary Brent Goose, an adult Mediterranean Gull and finally as the day drew to a close a Merlin sped northeast... things are definitely looking up. What will tomorrow bring?

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