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, 10 August 2014

A Bonxie Bonus

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 4th to Sunday 10th August 2014... 

It was generally much quieter this week, but a Great Skua (or Bonxie) over The Fleet on today's Wetland Bird Survey was a good find (as they're less than annual at The Swannery) though technically it was seen just to the south east of the recording area off Clouds Hill boathouse (where it caused pandemonium amongst the gulls loafing on the leeward side of the bank). 

The female Scaup still lingers and was not surprisingly the wildfowl highlight of the week.

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

Mute Swan - 678
Black Swan - 2
Bar-headed Goose - 1 
Canada Goose - 580 (+ 5 hybrids)
Barnacle Goose - 1
Teal - 6
Mallard - 338 (+ 2 domestics)
Shoveler - 3
Pochard - 7
Tufted Duck - 8
Scaup - 1

The above figures are pretty representative for the week but in addition there was a single Gadwall on Tuesday. Note the complete absence of Shelduck though.

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

Little Grebe - 8
Great Crested Grebe - 42
Cormorant - 23
Little Egret - 26
Moorhen - 4
Coot - 440

Again pretty representative but due to their furtive nature Moorhens are always under-recorded on the count and in addition in the week the odd Kingfisher and Grey Heron were seen.

The wader totals on today's Wetland Bird Survey were less representative for the week so instead below are the peak counts for the week...

Oystercatcher - 2
Lapwing - 10
Ringed Plover - 1
Whimbrel - 1
Black-tailed Godwit  - 8
Turnstone - 5
Sanderling - 14
Dunlin - 40
Common Sandpiper - 11
Green Sandpiper - 1
Greenshank - 1
Redshank - 13
Snipe - 1

Black-tailed Godwit wheeler-photography
 Common Sandpiper wheeler-photography

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

Great Skua - 1
Common Tern - 150
Black-headed Gull - 86
Mediterranean Gull - 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 21
Herring Gull - 115
Great Black-backed Gull - 303

This was a pretty representative tally for the week but today's strong winds certainly brought in more large gulls and in addition there was a first summer Arctic Tern that was among 220 Common Terns on Tuesday.

Juvenile Common Tern wheeler-photography

The male Marsh Harrier, that reappeared again on a couple of occasions, was the only raptor of note, whilst 'new in' passerines were a Garden Warbler, the belated first of the year; five Wheatears, the first of the autumn; and a juvenile Stonechat, presumably the progeny of the pair that nested up on adjacent Linton Hill; and not having been noted for a few weeks the (or at least a) Nuthatch reappeared at Grove Lane. 

I'll leave you with a few of the insect highlights of the week...

Female Oak Eggar Moth wheeler-photography (thanks Jack) 

Sycamore Moth caterpillar wheeler-photography

All the photos used (and taken) this week are courtesy of Charlie Wheeler, as I personally didn't manage to get any decent images at all... Thanks for helping me out Charlie. Thanks also to Alan Barrett and Mike Morse for helping with The Swannery WeBS and of course a general thanks to all the other counters on The Fleet and Portland Harbour.

1 comment:

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