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, 21 December 2011

Raining Redwings!

The male Goosander reappeared last Friday and is still present off and on, though distant...

Ad. male Goosander (with Shovelers).
And preening.

And the lonely first winter male Scaup has at last been joined by two females but three is still a very low count for this time of the year here. Dabbling duck numbers are also low with a couple hundred Teal and considerably fewer Wigeon and Shoveler...

Male Shoveler.
 In the withies a few Chiffchaffs, Cetti's Warblers and Goldcrests are still vocal and Fred (one of the ringers) had a Firecrest yesterday that I failed to see, having to content myself with seeing a few of the ten plus that are present at the nearby Sub-Tropical Gardens while running an erand there today. On leaving my cottage yesterday for the short stroll to work I at last saw a Redwing my first of the autumn/winter. A wintering species I usually see (or at least hear in the night sky) for the first time by the end of October not as late as December! And today there was not one in the hedge (that runs from my cottage to The Swannery) but a flock of sixty plus! Presumably downed in the heavy rain overnight. Other highlights since my last blog were a Marsh Harrier yesterday (again missed by me but seen by Fred and also picked up by mates Alan, Mike and Cliff at nearby West Bexington) and two flyby Knots on Monday, plus the usual scattering of Mediterranean Gulls.

Last Sunday was December WeBS Count day and the figures for The Swannery to Rodden Hive Point were as follows...

Mute Swan 267
Shelduck 17
Wigeon 5
Teal 220
Mallard 496
Domestic Mallard 9
Shoveler 37
Pochard 550
Tufted Duck 260
Scaup 1
Goldeneye 8
Red-breasted Merganser 15
Cormorant 4
Little Egret 3
Grey Heron 3
Little Grebe 25
Great Crested Grebe 10
Moorhen 11
Coot 260
Lapwing 60
Redshank 5
Black-headed Gull 42
Mediterranean Gull 1
Common Gull 3
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Herring Gull 21
Great Black-backed Gull 9
Kingfisher 1

Elsewhere along The Fleet, as last week, the Hume's Leaf Warbler and Richard's Pipit still linger in the Littlesea Holiday Park/Bridging Camp area and at least one Black Brant is still with the Brent Geese.

The Swannery looking east from New Barn Road with the Dorset and Devon coast beyond Lyme Bay.

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