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, 22 April 2012

April Showers, Showers & More Showers

With the unsettled weather no doubt delaying its' departure, the Black-winged Stilt was last seen on Wednesday 18th back in the meadow, although in the beginning of the week it preferred the shoreline of The Fleet, showing really well down to a few metres at times...

Above two shots - Black-winged Stilt with Mute Swans.

The Black-winged Stilt (This shot courtesy of workmate Charlie Wheeler)

The Black-winged Stilt from Fleet Pipe Hide.

Despite the unsettled weather a few other waders were on the move with the lingering Green Sandpiper last seen on Monday 16th, while single Common Sandpiper, Knot and Culew all dropped in briefly, and several Whimbrels headed north.

Gulls and terns were also trickling through with a few more Common Terns arriving just as Sandwich Tern numbers were dropping off, whilst an Arctic Tern lingered briefly on Friday 20th in company with two adult Little Gulls... 

The Arctic Tern

The two adult Little Gulls.
The Little Gulls reappeared again the following day (Saturday 21st) when I took the above appalling record shot, which fails to capture the beautiful pink wash to their underparts.

The highlight Larid of the week though was a first year Glaucous Gull on Thursday 19th, picked out loafing on the beach opposite, it soon flew to the tern island where it performed well from Helen Hide before flying off west...




1st year Glaucous Gull...
1. On the beach (with Common Shelducks).
2. In flight.
3. On The Fleet by the tern island.
4. On the tern rails.
There have been very few passerine migrant arrivals bar two White Wagtails, a few more Swallows and a House Martin, whilst the only raptors of note were the regular couple of Marsh Harriers.

A Greylag Goose was a new arrival on Tuesday 17th and no doubt a wandering feral bird but generally wintering wildfowl have been departing, with numbers now decreasing daily. Several Teals, and a few Shovelers, Gadwalls, and Red-breasted Mergansers are still present however, as was the first year male Scaup and several Pochards. A few of the aforementioned species occasionally over-summer of course even rarely joining the Tufted Ducks, Shelducks and Mallards in nesting...

Female Mallard nesting in a tree cavity.

Although rarely up a tree!

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