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, 19 August 2012

'Never The Twain'

Swannery birding highlights of the week...

13th to 19th August 2012

An odd combination...
The salty seashore loving (Ruddy) Turnstone and the freshwater marsh loving Wood Sandpiper.
Even so they were inseparable for the best part of an hour!

Unseasonal lingering wildfowl included the Common Scoter, the Goldeneye, the Pintail and the Greylag Goose.

Raptor highlights involved two Marsh Harriers - the regular immature male (that is now looking more like an adult at every sighting) and a juvenile. Ringer Steve Hales also reported a Hobby trying its luck over the swallow roost one evening either early in the week or last weekend.

There were again no terns but there were singles of adult Mediterranean and juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls (the latter the first of the autumn).

The juv. Wood Sandpiper (that finally departed after a two week stay) back in its more typical habitat of the meadow pool.

The lingering Wood Sandpiper remained until Friday and for other waders maximum daily counts were Oystercatcher 2; Little Ringed Plover 2; Ringed Plover 7; Lapwing 3; Sanderling 3; Dunlin 4; Black-tailed Godwit 4; Common Sandpiper 8; Green Sandpiper 2: Greenshank 7 and Turnstone 1.

One of several (Common) Greenshank that dropped in this week.
One of the juv. Black-tailed Godwits.
Land bird migrants included up to thirty Swifts still present at the beginning of the week, good numbers of Swallows, a few House and Sand Martins, a Grey Wagtail, a Yellow Wagtail (there were around a hundred this time last year), a few Wheatears and numerous Willow Warblers. 

The results of this morning's WeBS survey at The Swannery (with a few additions seen later in the day) were:

Mute Swan - 633
Black Swan - 2
Greylag Goose - 1
Canada Goose - 37
Hybrid Goose - 3
Shelduck - 5
Gadwall - 1
Teal - 4
Mallard - 390
Mallard (domestic) - 5
Pintail - 1
Shoveler - 5
Pochard - 12
Tufted Duck - 32
Goldeneye - 1
Common Scoter - 1
Great Crested Grebe - 30
Little Grebe - 2
Cormorant - 26
Little Egret - 6
Grey Heron - 5
Moorhen - 16
Coot - 328
Little Ringed Plover - 2
Lapwing - 3
Dunlin - 1
Black-tailed Godwit - 4
Common Sandpiper - 5
Green Samdpiper - 2
Black-headed Gull - 28
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Herring Gull - 15
Great Black-backed Gull - 23

Thanks as always to Swannery counters Alan Barrett, Ian McLean and Mike Morse and for that matter to the other guys elsewhere on The Fleet (you know who you are).

The (Ruddy) Turnstone on the Bund.
The Bund is a new addition to The Swannery and this artificial rocky shore may prove a popular habitat for the above species and you never know might just attract a Purple Sandpiper, the last Swannery example of which was seen as long ago as 11th September 2001 a day of very sad memories too!

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