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.



Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - September 2017

Highlights...


National rarities were represented by both the first Spotted Sandpiper and the first Baird's Sandpiper for The Swannery (and The Fleet), whilst two Cattle Egrets were the only County rarities this month. Also noteworthy however was an influx of at least eight Grey Phalaropes, whilst a Spoonbill, a Wood Sandpiper, two Black Terns, one or two Little Gulls, up to three Ospreys and an early Scaup also featured on the Rare Bird Information services during the month.


Above two images the Spotted SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Charlie Wheeler

Grey Phalarope, beginning to attain winter plumage, 
Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler




More details on the above birds and the rest of this month's sightings follow below...



Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 620 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Black Swan...
Two were present throughout.

Greylag Goose...
One was seen regularly and was joined by two other individuals on the 15th.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 26 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.


Brent Goose...
Two of the form bernicla 'Dark-bellied Brent Goose' were seen regularly from the 6th to the 18th. Presumably birds that had over-summered in Britain...

Dark-bellied Brent GeeseAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Shelduck...

One on the 10th, two from the 24th to the 26th.

Wigeon...
At least five were seen on the 13th and there were regular sightings from the 22nd with a peak of at least 20 on the 26th.

Gadwall...
Seen regularly until the 15th with a peak of 19 on the 4th, while subsequently two were seen on the 26th...

 Moulting drake Gadwall, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Teal...
Present throughout with counts of over 250 from the 25th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 454 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Pintail...
The over-summering drake was finally joined by another two individuals on the 4th and numbers slowly built up to over fifty by the month's end.

Shoveler...
Present throughout with peaks of over 20 on the several dates.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 14 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 140 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Scaup...
An adult drake arrived on the 20th and remained throughout the rest of the month...


Moulting drake ScaupAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with 22 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th...

Cormorant, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Cattle Egret... 
There were regular sightings of at least one, often two...

Cattle EgretAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with 10 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Grey Heron... 
Seen regularly with peaks of eight on two dates.

Spoonbill... 
One was reported on the 28th.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout with 11 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Present throughout with 22 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen regularly from the 15th but two were seen on the 17th.

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Osprey... 
Singles on the 4th, 10th-11th and 19th.

Water Rail...
Heard regularly (but rarely seen).

Moorhen...
Present throughout.

Coot...
Present throughout with 465 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Oystercatcher...
One on the 2nd.

Ringed Plover...
Singles on the 11th and the 26th.

Lapwing...
Present throughout with numbers building to 12 by the end of the month...

Lapwing, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Curlew...
Three on the 2nd.

Black-tailed Godwit...
Nine on the 1st and one on the 8th.

Turnstone...
Four on the 4th, two on the 5th and 6 on the 10th.

Knot...
Two on the 4th.

Ruff...
Singles on the 10th, 11th, 25th and 30th.

Dunlin...
Seen regularly until the 20th, with a peak of at least 10 on two dates...

Dunlins, individuals of the two breeding European forms?
Left schinzii (western) & right alpina (eastern)? Abbotsbury Swannery,
September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Dunlin, the same individual as above right probably of the form alpina, 
Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler
Dunlin,  possibly the same schinzii individual in the top image, 
Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Baird's Sandpiper...
The first for The Fleet was found at Lynch Cove, Chickerell on the 17th and it was reported at Abbotsbury, on The Fleet shoreline of Chesil Bank, on the 19th. If confirmed this latter sighting will be the first for The Swannery. 

Grey Phalarope...
An unprecedented influx took place between the 8th and 17th, with a peak of eight on the 13th, it is likely however that the actual number of individuals present over the ten days was even higher...



Above three images Grey Phalarope, beginning to attain winter plumage, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves


Above three images Grey Phalarope, in almost full winter plumage, 
Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Common Sandpiper...
Present throughout with at least six seen on several dates...

Common SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves
Common SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Spotted Sandpiper...
The first for The Swannery and The Fleet was found on the 17th and it remained for the rest of the month... 

Spotted Sandpiper (left) with Common Sandpiper,  Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves
Spotted Sandpiper showing diagnostic reduced wing-bar on inner-wing, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler



Above three images the Spotted SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Steve Groves

video
Short shaky video of the Spotted Sandpiper
Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Green Sandpiper...
One on the 8th.

Greenshank...
Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 9th...

GreenshankAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Common Sandpiper  GreenshankAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Steve Groves

Wood Sandpiper...
One from the 26th to the end of the month...

Wood SandpiperAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Redshank...
Seen regularly from the 9th to the 22nd, with a peak of five on the 17th.

Snipe...
Singles were seen regularly from the 15th but two were present on the 26th.

Black Tern...
Single juveniles on the 2nd and 13th...



Above three images juvenile Black TernAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Steve Groves
Arctic Tern...
A juvenile was present on the 7th, the first since September 2015.

Kittiwake...
A first winter was seen on the 20th, the second of the year.

Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout with 160 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Little Gull...
Single first winters were seen on the 13th and from the 23rd to the 25th...

1st winter Little Gull with Mediterranean Gulls, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


1st winter Little Gull (centre) with 1st winter Black-headed Gull (left) & 
1st winter Mediterranean Gull, Abbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Steve Groves

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 400 on the 22nd...


Adult winter Mediterranean GullAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 
© Steve Groves

Common Gull...
Singles were seen fairly regularly but two were present on the 25th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull...
Single figures were seen regularly...


Lesser Black-backed GullAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 238 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Yellow-legged Gull...
At least one first winter was present on the 24th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with 113 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Stock Dove...
Single figures were seen regularly until the 13th but not subsequently.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
One on the 29th.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly.

Kingfisher...
Seen regularly with a peak of two on several dates...

KingfisherAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Single figures were seen regularly.

Merlin...
One on the 23rd was the first since March.

Peregrine...
Singles on the 10th and 25th.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Present throughout.

Sand Martin...
Seen regularly with at least ten present on several dates.

Swallow...
Present throughout with a peak of over 2,000 on the 22nd...


SwallowsAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

House Martin...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 100 on the 14th.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
Present throughout with a peak of over 50 on the 25th.

Willow Warbler...
Seen regularly until the 17th with a peak of over 10 on the 1st...

Willow WarblerAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Blackcap...
Seen regularly.

Whitethroat...
Seen regularly.

Sedge Warbler...
Seen regularly with counts of over 10 on the 1st and 4th.

Reed Warbler...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 20 on the 1st.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Starling...
Seen regularly with at least 100 in the roost nightly.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Song Thrush...
Singles on the 10th and 27th.

Spotted Flycatcher...
One on the 14th, two on the 17th and two on the 2oth...


Spotted FlycatcherAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Robin...
Present throughout...

RobinAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Whinchat...
Three on the 15th, singles on the 21st and 30th...

WhinchatAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Steve Groves

Stonechat...
Seen regularly with a peak of eight on the 30th.

Wheatear...
Singles on the 1st, 15th and 27th.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Yellow Wagtail...
Seen regularly with flocks of over 30 on several dates.

Grey Wagtail...
Single figures were seen regularly...

Grey WagtailAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout. Singles of the Icelandic/Continental form alba 'White Wagtail' were seen on the 4th, 8th-9th, 19th and 24th.

Tree Pipit...
One on the 2nd.

Meadow Pipit...
One on the 1st and then regular from the 9th, with over 2,000 flying west on the 15th...

Meadow PipitAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler

Rock Pipit...
At least one or two were present daily from the 18th...


Rock PipitAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Linnet...
Present throughout.

Goldfinch...
Present throughout...

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout...




... And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Alan Barrett, Steve Hales, Richard Philips, Luke Phillips, Nick Urch, Charlie Wheeler & fellow staff members for additional sightings and where applicable for the use of their images. Check out Charlie's updated website here - Charlie Wheeler Photography


I'll leave you with a couple of images of other wildlife Charlie photographed this September...

Southern HawkerAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler


Young Grass SnakeAbbotsbury Swannery, September 2017 © Charlie Wheeler





October's sightings to follow shortly.