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, 8 December 2013

Little Change

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th December 2013...

Last week's Siberian Chiffchaff still lingered (along with several Common Chiffchaffs) but it continues to be very elusive. It did however give good views at one point and also called, confirming its identification, but try as I might I couldn't get even a poor record shot of it.

Other passerines of note were the first Fieldfare of the season (a single) and the continued presence of a Reed Bunting roost sixty plus strong. I don't know whether I have overlooked this roost in the past (I normally only see single figures in the winter) or whether they are just taking advantage of the relatively mild weather and/or the nearby game crops, as most seem to be dropping in from a little distance, rather than just the surrounding reed-beds. Steve Hales @ abbotsburyswanneryringing has now trapped and ringed over ninety individuals at the roost and we are rather hoping that he might extract a Little Bunting out of his nets one of these afternoons. Wishful thinking maybe but fingers crossed!

Wildfowl numbers increased this week and this influx included another two Scaup, bringing the total now up to six...

The six Scaup today, three adult drakes, two first winter females and a first winter male?
(Plus a female Tufted Duck).
The regular hybrid female Scaup x Tufty (foreground) with a newly arrived first winter Scaup which, despite its female like plumage, I believe is a male. Time will tell. It is the bird far top left in the previous photo.

Despite the extra Scaup and now, at last, regular small parties of Red-breasted Mergansers, diving duck numbers are still fairly low (and still no Goldeneye or any more Goosanders) but Teal rose to a thousand and were joined by thirty odd Pintail, whereas Shoveler remained stable at around a hundred but there were still only single figures of Wigeon and Gadwall. The Canada Goose flock, two hundred strong, returned briefly but held nothing else in their ranks (not even the possible Todd's) but two small parties of Dark-bellied Brent Geese (twelve and five) circled over. One of these days there's going to be a Black Brant among them...I hope!

There were around two hundred Lapwing most days, with another two hundred toward Rodden, but the only other waders were a few Snipe, three Redshank, a Golden Plover, a Dunlin, a Curlew and today a Black-tailed Godwit...

The Black-tailed Godwit in the water-meadow today (with a Teal).

In spite of fairly good numbers of gulls I couldn't find any of note, not even any Meds!

As well as the Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail and (very small) Starling roosts the reed-beds still held the male Marsh Harrier, several Cetti's Warblers and as always at this time of year, plenty of Water Rails...

A Water Rail caught in the open this week.

And that's about it this week! Unless there is a change in the weather I can't see things changing much this side of Christmas but you never know!
This afternoon's swan feed. More ducks than swans! Most of the latter are still down on the Eelgrass and thus we only offer a little grain once a day or less until we see signs of the Eelgrass depleting.

No comments:

Post a Comment