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, 13 July 2014

A Ruff & Stuff...

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 7th to Sunday 13th July 2014... 

I was on leave this week and although I was busy with day trips (and a few chores) I still managed to pop down The Swannery most evenings and I also went in for this (Sunday) morning's WeBS count of course. Despite my comparative lack of coverage I still managed to find a male Ruff on Meadow Pool. Now Ruffs are just about annual at The Swannery, mostly in late autumn and early winter but a male in summer (or at least largely summer) plumage is a bit of a scarcity... 

Above pics the moulting but still largely summer-plumaged male Ruff that was present on Meadow Pool Friday evening... it even still had a bit of a ruff!

The Ruff was accompanied by two Greenshanks...

The two Greenshanks.

...And the latter were still present for today's WeBS along with seven Lapwings and three Oystercatchers (presumably the successful breeding pair and one of their young). Other waders noted in the the week were a peak of four Common Sandpipers, three Redshanks, two Snipes and singles of Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit...

Above two pics the summer-plumaged Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Wildfowl totals on today's Wetland Bird Survey were...

Mute Swan - 572
Black Swan - 2
Bar-headed Goose - 1 
Canada Goose - 637
Barnacle Goose - 1
Shelduck - 22
Teal - 10
Mallard - 168
Tufted Duck - 52
Scaup - 1

Note that the female Scaup is still present but also note the apparent lack this week of Gadwall, Shoveler and Pochard!

A Tufted Duck and her brood on the Decoy Pond. © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Other water-bird totals on today's Wetland Bird Survey were...

Great Crested Grebe - 31
Cormorant - 16
Little Egret - 8
Grey Heron - 1
Moorhen - 4
Coot - 281

Note no Little Grebes or Kingfishers.

Three preening Little Egrets on Meadow Pool.

The gull and tern totals on today's Wetland Bird Survey were...

Black-headed Gull - 111
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Herring Gull - 13
Great Black-backed Gull - 2
Common Tern - 80

Note no Mediterranean Gulls or Sandwich Terns.

The first Common Tern fledglings of the summer. © Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography

Land-birds provided no real surprises with most post breeding dispersal masked by local breeders. The exceptions however were Sand Martins that continued to pass through and the first Grey Wagtail that reappeared on The Mill Stream. 

This cock Linnet 'dillied and dallied' by Meadow Hide!
A juv. Pied Wagtail that Charlie digitally captured this week. 
© Charlie Wheeler wheeler-photography
Thanks Charlie for the use of five of the above pics and for also keeping an eye out in my absence!

So it's back in the harness tomorrow and so ironically more time on the patch to find another quality wader I hope!

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