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, 11 March 2012

'The (Low) T'ides Of March'

A fair to middling kind of week really...

New in were a pair of Goosander on Wednesday and Thursday but far  too distant to snap... The lingering Black-necked Grebe though was at last a bit more co-operative...

A few shots of the Black-necked Grebe... just beginning to moult into summer plumage.
A single Knot too was close enough to get some decent record shots at least...

The (Red) Knot, still in grey winter plumage.
The week was in fact fairly good for waders with some low water and lots of mud. I had what I believe to be a swannery record count of 60+ Redshank and there were also a couple of Curlew, a few Dunlin, the returning breeding pair of Oystercatchers and a Green Sandpiper, though Lapwing and Snipe were notable for the absence by the end of the week. There was also a good lot of gulls around earlier in the week but the best I could find was a 1st winter Yellow-legged.

The 1st winter male, adult male and hybrid female Scaup were still present...

The 1st winter male Scaup...
compare my pictures of this bird on my earlier blogs to judge the progress of its' moult.

There was a notable influx of Little Egrets this week (after a few succumbed to the cold snap last month), with many of them field feeding, they all had to be checked to see if there wasn't a Cattle Egret among them... but there wasn't...

Little Egret.
Today was the Wetland Bird Survey count for March and the results for The Swannery and the adjacent Abbotsbury stretch of The Fleet were:

Mute Swan - 460
Black Swan - 2
Canada Goose - 19
Shelduck - 40
Wigeon - 2
Teal - 70
Mallard - 168
Mallard (domestic) - 5
Pintail - 20
Shoveler - 28
Pochard - 192
Tufted Duck - 125
Scaup - 2
Red-breasted Merganser - 52
Little Grebe - 12
Great Crested Grebe - 11
Black-necked Grebe - 1
Cormorant - 3
Little Egret - 14
Grey Heron - 1
Moorhen - 13
Coot - 66
Oystercatcher - 2
Dunlin - 1
Curlew - 1
Redshank - 4
Black-headed Gull - 58
Common Gull - 74
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Herring Gull - 6
Great Black-backed Gull - 3

(Northern) Pintail in the meadow...
one of the most elegant of British ducks don't 'cha' think?

Look at that habitat in the Pintail photo... is that not oozing for a Glossy Ibis or two, just like the ones at nearby Radipole at the mo'... come on guys come over and check it out!

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