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, 3 August 2014

The Purple Patch Progresses

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week...

Monday 28th July to Sunday 3rd August 2014... 

There were a few more quality birds this week... 

Highlight was a juvenile Montagu's Harrier that appeared to come in-off the sea  late Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately it powered inland, flew over Chapel Hill and was lost to view (I didn't even have time to attempt a record shot).

Other head-liners included the lingering Wood Sandpiper to Monday... 

The Wood Sandpiper on Meadow Pool.
The Wood Sandpiper with a Green Sandpiper.

... And following last week's adult, a juvenile Black Tern that appeared briefly today (Sunday)...

The juvenile Black Tern with juvenile (& one adult) Common Terns.

In addition to the Wood Sandpiper there was always a nice selection of waders present, either on the Fleet shoreline of the Chesil opposite or on the fast shrinking meadow pool. Peak counts were... Oystercatcher - 2; Lapwing - 9; Ringed Plover - 3; Whimbrel - 1; Black-tailed Godwit - 2; Turnstone - 6; Knot - 3; Sanderling - 10; Dunlin - 80; Common Sandpiper - 3; Green Sandpiper - 4; Greenshank - 1; Redshank - 8 and Snipe - 1. 

Green Sandpiper on Meadow Pool.
Two of several Turnstones seen this week.

In contrast to last week only three tern species were present this week... the aforementioned Black, plenty of Common Terns busy feeding young and a few passing Sandwich Terns... 

Juvenile & adult Sandwich Terns.
Just one of the hundred plus young Common Terns that have fledged at Abbotsbury this year.

A handful of Mediterranean Gulls were the best of their ilk this week and Wildfowl too were not surprisingly a little less inspiring... The female Scaup still lingered but there were only single figures of Shelduck, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard and even Tufted Duck

Apart from the Montagu's Harrier  the only other raptor of note was a male Marsh Harrier, also on Monday, which was presumably our former regular bird visiting from Radipole. 

Passerine highlights were a Grasshopper Warbler on Monday and several singles of Yellow Wagtail...

Male Yellow Wagtail on Meadow Pool.

Now we are into August though, the few single Yellow Wagtails should soon increase to a few hundred at least, as passerine migration really begins to move up a gear. Maybe we can clinch the Fleet's first Citrine this year!

Clouded Yellow Butterfly this week.

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