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.

Monday, 23 September 2013

September WeBS

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd September 2013.......


Teal with Black-headed Gulls © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography
Sunday's Wetland Bird Survey results for wildfowl...
Mute Swan...448
Black Swan...2
Canada Goose...3
Mallard (Domestic)...7
Tufted Duck...210
The above numbers are fairly representative for the week and no other species were seen.

Miscellaneous Water Birds...

Sunday's Wetland Bird Survey results for other water birds...
Little Grebe...12
Great Crested Grebe...20
Little Egret...7
Grey Heron...2
Water Rail...2
Again the above numbers are fairly representative for the week and no other species were seen.


Sunday's Wetland Bird Survey results for waders...
Ringed Plover...2
Once again, fairly representative but a couple of other species went into the log earlier in the week. Common Sandpipers were present most days with a peak count of three and a Curlew flew through.
Greenshank © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography
Two of this week's Common Sandpipers.

Gulls & Terns...

Sunday's Wetland Bird Survey results for gulls & terns ...
Black-headed Gull...60
Herring Gull...8
Great Black-backed Gull...1
Not so representative for the week! The former species reached one hundred plus at times, while the latter two reached double figures most days. Also scraping into double figures for the week were Lesser Black-backed and Mediterranean Gulls and after a blank week last week, terns were back in the log with one to three Arctic daily from Tuesday to Friday, at least three Common and five Sandwich.
Two Sandwich Terns, two Black-headed Gulls & a Mediterranean Gull off Bum Point.

Bathing Black-headed Gulls © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


The Osprey (or at least an Osprey) was seen every day bar Monday but the male Marsh Harrier and at least one juvenile were a little more sporadic in their appearances. After bemoaning the lack of Peregrines of late two showed up on Sunday, an adult and a juvenile. A near miss for the patch was a Merlin at nearby New Barn Farm, which would have been a first of the autumn if it had strayed a few hundred metres further west. 
A very obliging & striking pale phase Buzzard.
A rather distant shot of the Osprey with a fish (presumably a grey mullet sp)

Passerine Migrants...

Nocturnal migrants were once again a bit thin on the ground with for instance only two Wheatears noted all week. Three Spotted Flycatchers went some way as recompense and although this autumn's trickle of Willow Warblers has dried up...Chiffchaff passage now seems to be in full flow. A few Reed and Sedge Warblers along with Blackcaps are still much in evidence, as are our 'resident' Cetti's Warblers but both Whitethroat 'sp' have been noticeable by their absence of late and I haven't seen a Garden Warbler for a full twelve months now! As for the diurnal migrants - wagtails, pipits and hirundines continued to steal the show...Yellow Wagtails are beginning to tail off (no pun intended) but Pied are increasing and a few White and Grey are still moving through too. Meadow Pipits were fairly numerous toward the end of the week and held at least one Tree Pipit in their ranks. There were thousands of Swallows along with good numbers of House Martins and a few Sand Martins, whilst 'also-ran's' included the first few Siskins of the autumn and a hint of the first movement of Skylarks.
One of this autumn's few Spotted Flycatchers.

And Last But Not Least...

Other species that made it into the log this week were the now regular Lady Amherst's Pheasant, a couple of Barn Owls (the first since the spring), a couple of Bullfinches (ditto) and despite their regularity these days a still fairly impress count of eight Ravens overhead was worthy of note.

The view on Sunday looking SE down The Fleet to Portland from Seventeen Acre Point, Abbotsbury.

Thanks to Charlie Wheeler for the use of three of the above photos and for Steve Hales for his bird sightings and ringing info.


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