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, 11 May 2014

May's Missing Migrants!

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..


Monday 5th to Sunday 11th May 2014...  

First a bit of late news from last Sunday. After publishing last week's post I learnt I had missed a female Scaup, at least one Arctic Tern and a (feral/escape) Bar-headed Goose! I hadn't been working that day but even so I did pop down briefly late afternoon and saw nothing of note. Now I wasn't that bothered about the goose of course but was slightly miffed about the duck and the tern. Fortunately this week I caught up with the Scaup and it was still present today...

The duck Scaup on The Decoy Pond. She is now paired with a drake Tufted Duck, so we may soon have a couple more Tufted Duck x Scaup hybrids to contend with id-wise!

... And, I also caught up with at least one Arctic Tern...

Arctic Tern on the tern rails Tuesday.

There were probably a few more Arctic Terns among an eighty strong flock of mostly Common Terns that were feeding and resting in the lee of Chesil Bank opposite on Saturday but distance and viewing conditions made confidently clinching any a thankless task. Other sightings associated with the strong south-westerly that day were a (second calendar year) Little Gull and a (fourth calendar year) Yellow-legged Gull.

Wader passage continued, albeit without much variety, and peak counts were:
Grey Plover - 1; Whimbrel - 10; Bar-tailed Godwit - 1; Dunlin - 200; Redshank - 1. Also present were the two breeding pairs of Oystercatcher (with a third pair occasionally intruding into the recording area from beyond Shipmoor Point).

Waterfowl numbers and variety remained pretty much the same as last week, with no real surprises apart from the Scaup.

Passerine (and 'near-passerine') passage migrants were still in rather short supply too, with many former Swannery regulars still yet to make an appearance this year, namely Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Hobby, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit!

I'm just hoping it's still not too late to see at least a few of the above this spring, let alone an official scarce migrant or vagrant!

I'll sign off with a couple of moth pics from Charlie...

Poplar Hawk Moth at The Swannery this week © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Poplar Hawk Moth at The Swannery this week © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


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