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 February 2014

High Winds And High Water

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th February 2014...  

The results of Wednesday's storm surge... four feet of water on the 'Picnic Site'.

This week saw the second highest storm surge that I have witnessed at The Swannery in my twenty-five year tenure. The biggest was in my first year, way back in December 1989. Along with all the tons of debris, that storm produced at least three Leach's Storm Petrels and a Great Skua in The Swannery embayment. The best I could manage this time round though were two small flocks of adult Little Gulls (a six and a seven, neither lingering long) and a few Kittiwakes. The only other 'new in' bird was a Black-necked Grebe (the first this winter) - found on Friday it was still present today. 

As I was unable to photograph the Little Gulls or the Black-necked Grebe it's going to have to be more of the (Greater) Scaup I'm afraid. All eight were present most of the week but on Friday I could only find six and today none! I'm sure that they are not too far away as even accounting for the mild conditions it's still a little early for them to be heading north.
As next Sunday is February WeBS count day I will have a fuller report of the water bird numbers next week... but don't expect high numbers!
There is not much to report on the land bird front either with still no Chiffchaffs for instance, though a few Redwings were a little unexpected in the continuing mild conditions.
And that's about it this week so I'll leave you with a few more pics of Wednesday's flood...

The 'Withy Walk' bridge!

The 'Crossroads'

The Office and Staff Hut.

The interior of the Staff Hut!
The tide line inside is only an inch or so lower than that of 1989. Our fridge and freezer were a write off but we're hoping that our chairs will dry out eventually!



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