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, 4 December 2011

D. I. Y. - S. O. S...

'Do It Yourself' for me - a 'Surfeit Of Sibes' for others.

I have very little to report this week as I had the week off to do some much needed home improvements and was so busy I didn't get down to The Swannery to do any birding until Friday! I also did a circuit of the hides and withybeds yesterday and today when I fed but found little of note. There was still good numbers of wildfowl... 500 or so Teal along with smaller numbers of Pintail, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler and Shelduck in the meadow, while on the Fleet the single 1st winter male Scaup was the highlight in the Pochard and Tufted Duck flock (there were a dozen or so Scaup this time last year!). A small flock of Red-breasted Merganser is now in evidence but the only geese are the usual Canada will be interesting to see whether the presumed wild Barnacle Geese present in the last two winters will reappear this year, but we may need some cold weather to encourage them. In the withies there are still more Goldcrests than usual and a few Chiffchaffs and Cettis' Warblers. The last two winters finished off the wintering individuals of the last two species but unusually not the former! There have been a number of gulls to check through but a few Mediterraneans Gulls was the best I could do. As I haven't been getting down to the patch this last week until the afternoons the poor light saw that the camera didn't even get an airing but I took the following shot last week...

The western reedbeds from Bum Point with Golden Cap in the distance.
 Although it's been pretty quiet at Abbotsbury elsewhere on The Fleet several Siberian birds have been around... the Hume's Leaf Warbler (a first for The Fleet recording area) is still at Littlesea Holiday Park, a Richard's Pipit was seen flying up The Fleet by the Bridging Camp and up to three Black Brants are present. Although I've seen the latter many times on The Fleet I still haven't seen one at The Swannery but as it's still officially considered the Pacific race of Brent Goose (with those on The Fleet no doubt originating from the east rather than from America) even if I do finally connect with one this winter it won't be an official tick and the chances are slim as the Brent flock rarely strays west of Rodden Hive. I checked the Meadow Pipit flock in The Swannery meadow today for the Richard's but to no avail. I'm back to work tomorrow though so I should spend a lot more time in the field and therefore hopefully connect with something more exciting... maybe even a Black Brant!

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