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, 13 October 2014

Swannery Birding Highlights Of The Week - Monday 6th to Sunday 12th October 2014...

It was definitely a more productive week this week albeit with no scarce migrants or rares...


Sunday's October WeBS totals give a good idea of the numbers and variety present this week: 
Mute Swan - 585; 
Black Swan - 2; 
Canada Goose - 27; 
Wigeon - 56; 
Teal - 1,000; 
Mallard - 567; 
Pintail - 44; 
Shoveler - 30; 
Pochard - 115; 
Tufted Duck - 190; 
Scaup - 1. 
In addition, in the week there were 30 Dark-bellied Brent Geese; 2 Gadwall and the regular male Goldeneye.

Other Water-birds... 

The highlight was a Shag on Wednesday which is a rare sight in The Swannery embayment and indeed The West Fleet in general... 

Above two images the juvenile Shag

Sunday's October WeBS totals give a good idea of the numbers and variety of other water-birds present this week: 
Little Grebe - 23; 
Great Crested Grebe - 68; 
Cormorant - 19; 
Little Egret - 11; 
Grey Heron - 2; 
Moorhen - 8; 
Coot - 820; 
Kingfisher - 2. 
In addition in the week there were a several Water Rails in evidence.

Above two images one of the Little Grebes


Only three species were seen during Sunday's October WeBS count:
Golden Plover - 2 (the first of the autumn);
Lapwing - 19;
Common Sandpiper - 1.
In addition in the week there were singles of Redshank and Snipe and two each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. 

One of this week's Lapwing


A (second winter) Yellow-legged Gull was the only sighting of any note and only three species were seen during Sunday's October WeBS count: 
Black-headed Gull - 70; 
Herring Gull - 30; 
Great Black-backed Gull - 2. 
In addition in the week there were a few 'Meds' and 'Lesser Black-backs'.


An Osprey was present on Saturday and Sunday and it was joined on the latter day by two juvenile Marsh Harriers, whilst the regular male Marsh Harrier was seen on Thursday. Ones and twos of Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel all featured on Sunday's Webs and through the week of course, whilst at least one Peregrine was also around.

Migrant Passerines...

New in species for this autumn were Bearded Tit (with at least two present) and Siskin (a single). Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Cetti's Warblers were the only warblers seen or heard in the withy and reed-beds again, along with still plenty of Goldcrests. Unlike last week there were numerous Swallows and a few House Martins, whilst Linnets, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were moving over in good numbers too. Some of the latter four species were also pausing briefly in the surrounding meadows where they were joined by several Stonechats and a single Wheatear

One of the Stonechats (a male)

There were also several Jays around including a group of fifteen moving west on Saturday...

One of this week's Jays caching acorns

And that's it for this week. Thanks to Alan Barrett, Ian McLean and Dave Foot for helping with The Webs.

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