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, 23 September 2012

A Few Firsts Of The Fall

Swannery birding highlights of the week...

17th to 23rd September 2012

Last weeks Osprey (or another?) reappeared on Wednesday and Thursday while a juvenile Marsh Harrier joined the regular male briefly today.

Wildfowl numbers and variety were basically as last week but two 'Dark-bellied' Brent Geese over today were my first of the autumn... still relatively early but tardy compared to the first of  this autumn's 'Pale-bellies'. Waders differed slightly from last week with my first few Snipe of the autumn, a few Dunlin, two Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit, three Curlew and the usual three Lapwing. Not an excellent variety (despite plenty of mud around the meadow pool) and not quite the predicted American wader but I guess the Knots could just feasibly have come from Canada or at least Greenland and that is technically america! The only gulls of any note were ten to twenty 'Meds' on a couple of occasions and there were no terns seen at all.

Bar-tailed Godwit on the 'west side'.
Among the commoner migrant passerines were my first Siskins of the autumn, a few Spotted Flycatchers, a couple of overhead Tree Pipits, the odd 'White' and several Yellow Wagtails still (with ringer Steve Hales trapping two of the former and eleven of the latter, one of which was another possible 'Grey-headed' Wagtail). Probably from more closer to home were the first Jays of the season, a second Nuthatch to join the regular bird and the first Stonechat for several weeks.

Another autumnal first for this year though was a butterfly... a Clouded Yellow.

Late flowering Marsh Mallow near the 'Fleet Pipe'.
A typical salt marsh plant, its roots originally provided the main ingredient of the confection that bears its name
(that is now mostly made with gelatin).
 As for next week... well I'm still holding out for a 'proper' american wader but with many eastern passerines making landfall this weekend that's always a possibility too... how about The Swannery's first Red-breasted Flycatcher... here's hoping!

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