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.

Monday, 9 June 2014

'Two Way Traffic'

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..


Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th June 2014...  

Northward bound waders consisted of a flock of twenty-two Sanderlings on The Fleet shoreline of Chesil opposite on Thursday (with four also on Tuesday and Wednesday), whilst Dunlins (including a few of the form arctica) peaked at fourteen on Wednesday. Apart from the two pairs of breeding Oystercatchers and their young the only other wader was a Black-tailed Godwit that arrived on Wednesday and was still present Sunday. 

The Black-tailed Godwit (with a Mallard).

The Black-tailed Godwit (a cropped version of the above).

One of the breeding Oystercatchers on the 'Middle' Duck Decoy Pipe.

As, at least some of, the waders were still heading north towards their breeding grounds, some of the wildfowl this week were already beginning to arrive back from theirs. A drake Shoveler arrived back on Friday and three Teal (including a duck) were back on Saturday. The two drake Gadwall still linger (and I'm still hoping their two mates will emerge from the reed-beds with some ducklings soon) and there are still several Tufted Ducks and Pochards present. The highlights though were the reappearance of the duck Scaup and a very brief visit by a drake Garganey that flew across the embayment with a Peregrine right on its tail Friday evening. The falcon reappeared moments later with empty talons but the Garganey presumably kept on going all the way to Radipole!

The non-breeding naturalised-goose moult-flock has now swelled to over five-hundred strong. Predominantly consisting of Canada Geese of course, there are a few oddities in the form of a single Barnacle Goose, a hybrid Greylag x Canada and briefly on Thursday two Bar-headed Geese. In a similar vein the two Black Swans are still within the Mute Swan herd. 

Just a few of the Canada Geese present at the moment
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography 

There were no Roseate Tern sightings this week (nor any sign of the 'easternish' Common Tern) but the (nominate) Common Terns are now doing well (fingers crossed) on the tern island with over one-hundred individuals present (so hopefully fifty plus pairs)!

One-hundred plus Common Terns over the tern island
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Apart from a 'probable' Turtle Dove that sped east on Friday (that if clinched would have been the first of the year) there was no obvious land bird passage and so it seems I will have to wait to the autumn now (if I'm lucky!) for this year's missing spring migrants such as Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit! 

With no sign of any Southern Marsh Orchids in the usual spots yet again this year (although there are one or two historical locales I haven't checked yet) I'll leave you with a photo of one of the Bee Orchids now flowering in the car park...

Bee Orchid on the bank of the main car park.

Thanks to Al Barrett and Charlie Wheeler for a few of the above sightings and also to the latter for the use of two of the above pics.

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