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, 6 January 2013

'A Busman's Holiday'

Swannery birding highlights of the week...

31st December 2012 to 6th January 2013

I was off work again this week (a nice long Christmas break to make up for all those Bank Holidays worked in the spring and summer) but once again I popped down to The Swannery most days to do a few necessary tasks such as feeding and of course to do a bit of birding. It was rather quiet with duck numbers having dropped off considerably. There are still several hundred Pochard and Tufted Duck (not to mention Mallard) of course but less than a hundred Teal and only single figures of Wigeon, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser. As I suspected last week though, all three Long-tailed Ducks are still in residence and Scaup have scraped into double figures (reaching ten) for the first time since the winter before last.
Drake (Greater) Scaup one of ten present this week.
The three Long-tailed Ducks that are now being slightly more co-operative in that they are not always far out off Shipmoor Point although they can still be quite elusive at times. The bird in the middle sports the pink bill spot of a first winter male and is apparently beginning to acquire some grey scapular feathers too.
The Canada Goose flock has largely been absent and the only other goose seen was again the resident Greylag. A Black-necked Grebe that joined the Little and Great Crested Grebes though was my first of the winter.

The Lapwing flock has reached over three hundred at times and in loose association have been up to ten Redshank and an Oystercatcher, while over thirty Snipe have been in the inner reed beds at least.

The male Marsh Harrier still lingers but the only other 'land-bird' of note was a single brief (presumed Lesser) Redpoll. Despite good numbers of Goldcrests last year's Firecrest could not be found and only one or two Chiffchaffs remain.

I'm back to work tomorrow so I'll be on site longer, if not actually birding, so we'll see what the first full week of 2013 brings!

No comments:

Post a Comment