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.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

'We Say Goosander, They Say Merganser!'

Over the last few days I've again been using up leave to try and get some more DIY done at home before Christmas, in what is our slightly quieter period at The Swannery, before the real preparations begin in the new year to re-open to the public in March. Therefore I haven't been getting out much and when I have there has been precious little to see. The highlight last week was a male Goosander feeding with the regular Red-breasted Merganser flock. Only just about annual at The Swannery they certainly don't live up to their official International (Americanised) English name of Common Merganser here with their Red-breasted cousins being far commoner!

The Goosander (with female Common Pochard). 'Redheads' (females & 1st years) are far more often encountered here than gorgeous adult males like this.
Despite the relatively colder weather wildfowl numbers seemed to have dropped if anything with still only the one Scaup present.
The 1st winter male Scaup
A lone Brent Goose (or if you prefer the International Ornithologist's Union version... Brant Goose!) settled on the beach opposite was unusual but it was just a 'Dark-bellied' and not the hoped for 'Black Brant'. The only other birds that made the notebook were a few Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Redshank, a group of three Mistle Thrushes and a Fieldfare and two fine male Bullfinches. Also Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers are still very much in evidence.

A typical view of a Cetti's Warbler
And an equally camera shy Common Chiffchaff

And finally elsewhere on The Fleet there have still been sporadic reports of the Hume's Leaf Warbler and Richard's Pipit lingering in the Littlesea/Lynch Cove area and also at least one of the Black Brants is still present.
A Meadow Pipit appropriately in The Swannery meadow... not the hoped for Richard's Pipit!
Six Green Plovers perching on a rail... if one Green Plover...
(Officially Northern Lapwings of course).

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