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, 29 June 2014

Back Of The Netta!

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..


Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th June 2014...  

I wasn't working on Monday but I popped down in the evening just to see what was around. There was no sign of the 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull that Charlie had found earlier in the day but from Helen Hide I discovered the first returning Greenshank. I saw little else of note until I reached the Decoy Pond where I was surprised to find four Red-crested Pochards. They were rather wary however and I just had time to rattle off a few pics before they flew off down the The Fleet...

The four Red-crested Pochards on the Decoy Pond, three moulting drakes and a duck, with Mallards and Coots.

Seeing how wary they were, it is tempting to speculate that they may have been genuine wild birds from the continent but with a growing naturalised population in the UK, who knows!

Above two pics - Charlie's 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull 
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

In addition to the Red-crested Pochards the only other duck of any real note this week was again the over-summering female Scaup but the few early returning Teal and Shovelers added variety to the ever present Shelducks, Mallards, Tufted Ducks and Pochards. 

A Common Sandpiper on Thursday (like the aforementioned Greenshank) was the first of the 'autumn' and the returning post breeding Lapwing flock peaked at twelve. The only other waders seen this week were the local three pairs of Oystercatchers, only one of which were successful, managing to fledge two of their three young.

Most of the Common Terns have now hatched young too and, apart from the odd fatality, seem to be doing well.

Several juvenile Grey Herons are now in residence, presumably from the Nottington heronry (or from further afield) as none have nested at Abbotsbury for awhile now.

The only 'land-bird' that went into the log this week (i.e. that wasn't either breeding or been reared in the near vicinity) was a single Sand Martin.

Juvenile Pied Wagtail at 'Bum Point'. It is nice to see that some young were reared in the area after 'our' initial sitting female was found dead on the nest.
A different shot of the first Scarce Chaser for The Fleet from last week that I misidentified as a Black-tailed Skimmer!

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