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, 13 January 2013

'Not To Be Sneezed At'

Swannery birding highlights of the week...

7th to 13th January 2013

As it was my first full week back at work (after the mid-winter celebrations) and as I was nursing a cold, I didn't actually get much birding in. Not surpringly therefore there is little new to report this week but I did still manage to find the time to confirm that last week's main highlights were still present and re-find a few good birds from previous weeks...

Namely the four (wild?) Barnacle Geese, the ten Scaup, the three Long-tailed Ducks, the Black-necked Grebe, the Marsh Harrier, several Mediterranean Gulls and the Firecrest. So it wasn't all bad.

I didn't manage to get any half decent bird photos this week so here's another of the obliging drake (Greater) Scaup from last week, this time with a drake (Common) Pochard.

And another (from last week and not quite so good) of the Long-tailed Ducks.
New in today though, during this months Wetland Bird Survey, were eleven Golden Plover with the Lapwing (though nearer to Rodden than The Swannery) and what was, for The Swannery, a most unseasonal Common Sandpiper.

A lot more ducks were around again this week (and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose was seen a couple of times) but gull numbers dropped right off by the weekend and apart from the Firecrest there were no passerines of note.

The full results of today's Swannery WeBS were...

Mute Swan - 481

Black Swan - 2

Greylag Goose - 1

Canada Goose - 80

Barnacle Goose - 4

Shelduck - 37

Wigeon - 90

Gadwall - 46

Teal - 550

Mallard - 430

Mallard (domestic) - 7

Pintail - 19

Shoveler - 38

Pochard - 642

Tufted Duck - 334

Scaup - 4 (10 earlier in the week)

Long-tailed Duck - 3

Goldeneye - 20

Red-breasted Merganser - 16

Little Grebe - 18

Black-necked Grebe - 1

Great Crested Grebe - 11

Cormorant - 1

Little Egret - 3

Grey Heron - 3

Moorhen - 12

Coot - 583

Lapwing - 280

Golden Plover - 11

Dunlin - 1

Snipe - 5

Common Sandpiper - 1

Redshank - 8

Black-headed Gull - 7

Common Gull - 35

Herring Gull - 85

Great Black-backed Gull - 2

Thanks again to Alan, Ian and Mike for their help.


A (European) Brown Hare just east of The Swannery today. Now believed to be an introduction of long-standing in Britain, there is still a fairly healthy population in Abbotsbury but they are not as numerous as they once were, especially on The Chesil.

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