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, 4 May 2014


Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..


Monday 28th April to Sunday 4th May 2014...  

This week's title is a bit of narrative licence of course, as the 'serendipity' that Luke had when a Serin flew over his ringing site at nearby Clouds Hill (Abbotsbury) on Wednesday wasn't technically a 'dip', it was just highly likely that said Serin had previously also flown over The Swannery and unfortunately for me I didn't connect. It's now been around twenty years since my last here. Therefore the best bird of the week for me was a fly over Red Kite later that same day (that was too distant to photograph), though a Fulmar that Charlie had on Thursday was equally as scarce on the landward side of the Chesil. It would have been even more noteworthy if it had been the 'Blue' one that flew past Portland Bill that same day!

The first Swifts of the year were the highlight of the commoner 'summer migrants', while passage waders included over twenty each of Whimbrel and Dunlin, at least three Common Sandpipers, two Ringed Plovers and singles of Curlew and Snipe.

A couple of Whimbrels on 'The Bund'. A slightly better shot than last week's effort.

Some thirty Common Terns were on or around the tern island, along with a few Sandwich Terns still...

Just a few of the Common Terns (and one of the Sandwich Terns) gracing the tern rails this week.

All of the wintering wildfowl have now departed leaving just the regular breeding species along with two pairs of Gadwall (only sporadic nesters), several pairs of Tufted Duck (that are just about establishing themselves as regular nesters) and a few Pochard (that look like they may nest in the near future).  

Drake Shelduck on Meadow Pool today. One of The Swannery's regular breeding wildfowl species along with Mallard, Canada Goose and Mute Swan (of course!).

So yet again not a very eventful birding week but I still feel there's a very good bird yet to come this spring and now we're into May a nice southern overshoot would make a fitting, if slightly belated, (significant) birthday present!
I'll leave you with a shot that Charlie took of a Muslin Moth at The Swannery this week...

Muslin Moth © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography


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