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, 6 July 2014

Avian Autumn Arrives!

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week..

Monday 30th June to Sunday 6th July 2014...  

Not surprisingly this week was mainly about returning waders and to a lesser extent wildfowl. 

The first Little Ringed Plover of the 'autumn' (and in fact the year, as none were seen in the spring) was seen briefly on Tuesday and almost as brief were a flock of thirteen Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits in the meadow on Wednesday (although one lingered to Saturday). There were also singles of Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Snipe (the latter another first of the 'autumn'), whilst the Lapwing flock dropped back to seven and Oystercatchers to six (including the two fledged young).

The single Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit that lingered from Thursday to Saturday.

Returning wildfowl included peaks of six Gadwall, eight Teal and four Shoveler, whilst the female Scaup still lingered with the Pochard/Tufted Duck flock.

So that's what adult summer female Scaups look like!
The seven-hundred strong Canada Goose moult flock.
In there somewhere are also a Bar-headed Goose and a Barnacle Goose (plus a few hybrids).

There has been a slow build up of post breeding Black-headed Gulls, including the first juveniles, and associated with this were a couple of Mediterranean Gullsbut as last week the bustling Common Tern colony only attracted a few passing Sandwich Terns

One of this week's Mediterranean Gulls (a first-summer), with Black-headed Gulls.

As for land-birds a report of a Red Kite was the only raptor of note and as last week the only passerine that made the log was Sand Martin but in contrast to last week's single, there were  several flocks of up to fifty, that this year far outnumber all the local-breeding feeding-flocks of Swallows, House Martins and Swifts put together! I hope that this turn of events is just a blip!

There weren't many  Dragonflies and Damselflies this week but I did manage to digitally capture this male  Common Blue Damselfly that I initially posted as an Azure.
The best butterfly was a Silver-washed Fritillary but that was far too restless to photograph!


  1. The Azure is a male Common Blue Damselfly.

  2. Cheers Brett, I'm not very good with Odonata am I? Nearly as bad as I am with birds!