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, 9 December 2012

'And Then There Were Three...'

It appears I'm not alone in having problems uploading photos on Blogger and now Google are apparently trying to resolve the problem (thanks Nick and Brett for your technical support!). Having had few photo opportunities this week I only had two photos to upload on this post anyway and they uploaded fine (having already taken the precautionary measure of re-sizing them). I then went to add another pic of the Barnacle Geese though to last week's post with no joy, so the problem has still not been rectified as yet! Anyway for the time being I shall continue to persevere, so here is this week's...

Swannery birding highlights of the week...

3rd to 9th December 2012

The two probably wild Barnacle Geese lingered until Tuesday (and are now apparently in Poole Harbour) while a Pale-bellied Brent Goose dropped in briefly on Monday before flying off east. There is still a nice selection of commoner ducks and worthy of note among them were nine Scaup, a single 'Redhead' Goosander and now three Long-tailed Ducks (all female/first winter types) but the latter have often been out of sight just to the east of The Swannery embayment and always too distant for a photo..
As nothing of note was very cooperative when it came to photography
I had to make do with some more obliging subjects...

Bottoms up! Mallards are only too willing to muscle in on the swan feeds.

Common Pochard & Tufted Duck await their turn!
 The regular male Marsh Harrier was seen virtually daily but there were no other harriers or any other raptors of note for that matter. Waders too were poorly represented with just Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe seen and there were no surprises on the gull front either. To passerines now and there are still a few more Jays around than would normally be expected and a couple of Nuthatches still too. Several more Siskins were around this week but no Redpolls and the single Bullfinch remained. A few more thrushes were apparent including a few Redwings and the first Fieldfare of the season. Bearded Tits were heard from deep within the reeds but not seen as were several Cetti's Warblers. Only one or two Chiffchaffs remain however and Goldcrest numbers have dropped off but passerine highlight of the week was a Firecrest spotted appropriately as I tended the bombfire!

 Well with temperatures predicted to plummet next week there might be be a slight cold weather movement, maybe some wild grey geese or a Smew but in the meantime I'm still holding out for a Waxwing!

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