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 April 2014

A Spring Break

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..


Monday 31st March to Sunday 6th April 2014...  

I was on leave this week and as I had lots of chores to do I didn't do much birding. In fact I only managed a couple of afternoon and a couple of evening visits to The Swannery all week and all were pretty unproductive. I don't think I missed much either though, as work colleague Charlie had very little to report. I did however manage my first Willow Warbler of the year to add to the numerous Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps now in song. Frustratingly though I still haven't logged any Sand Martins or Wheatears and my first Swallows of the year were just outside The Swannery recording area at New Barn Farm today. 

(Common) Starling at The Swannery this week... a former breeding species.
They used to nest in cavities in this very clump of Grey Poplars so lets hope they breed this year!

Lingering wildfowl included a few Teal, Shoveler and a pair of Gadwall and still several Pochard, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser.
As for waders there was a single rather late Lapwing (as long gone are the days when they nested here), a single Redshank (ditto), while a third pair of Oystercatchers briefly joined are two regular pairs (so at least we should have some breeding waders). 

One of the pairs of (Eurasian) Oystercatchers on 'The Bund' © Charlie Wheeler

There were no gulls of note but Sandwich Tern numbers continued to build...
Sandwich Terns on 'The Tern Island' this week © Charlie Wheeler.
The island needs a good refurbishment following the severe storms in February.
Lets hope we can get it done before the Common Terns begin arriving!

And a close-up of one of the Sandwich Terns. Unfortunately I couldn't read the ring!

So that's about it for this week but I'm back to work tomorrow so expect a fuller report next week (I hope!).

I'll just leave you with an image Charlie took which we thought was maybe a pupae of some sort but it turns out is a fungus...
Pink fungi © Charlie Wheeler.
Thanks Charlie for the use of this and two of the other images this week.

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