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, 16 January 2018

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - December 2017

Highlights...


Five Cattle Egrets roosted for at least three or four nights, a Glaucous Gull was seen briefly as was a Hen Harrier, whilst also noteworthy were at least seven Scaup and at least one Firecrest

Glaucous Gull (1st calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


More details on the above birds and the rest of this month's sightings follow below (I didn't have many photos this month so I have plundered a few from the archive from previous Decembers)...


Mute Swan...
Present throughout with 480 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Black Swan...
Two were present regularly.

Canada Goose...
Present throughout with 350 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Barnacle Goose...
A flock of 22 settled briefly on the 6th.

Shelduck...
Present throughout with 30 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Shoveler... 
Present throughout with a peak of 150 on the 2nd...


Shoveler (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2011 © Steve Groves

Wigeon...
Seen regularly with 630 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Mallard...
Present throughout with 420 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Pintail...
Seen regularly with a peak of at least 10 on two dates.

Teal...
Present throughout with a peak of 750 on the 2nd.

Pochard... 
Present throughout with 170 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Tufted Duck... 
Present throughout with 160 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Scaup...
Present throughout with a peak of seven on several dates...


Scaup (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2015 © Steve Groves


Goldeneye...
One on the  on the 14th.

Goosander...
One on the 3rd.

Red-breasted Merganser...
Seen regularly with a peak of five on several dates.

Pheasant...
Present throughout.

Little Grebe...
Present throughout but none were seen during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Great Crested Grebe...
Seen regularly with a peak of six on the 14th.

Cattle Egret...
Five roosted nightly from the 5th to the 8th.

Grey Heron... 
Seen regularly but none were seen during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Little Egret... 
Present throughout with around 10 roosting nightly.

Cormorant...
Present throughout with around 30 roosting nightly.

Sparrowhawk... 
Singles were seen regularly. 

Marsh Harrier...
Singles were seen regularly.

Hen Harrier...
A 'Ringtail' was seen on the 15th, the first since December 2016.

Buzzard... 
Single figures were seen regularly.

Water Rail...
Present throughout...


Water RailAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2013 © Steve Groves


Moorhen...
Present throughout with 13 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Coot...
Present throughout with 760 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Lapwing...
Seen regularly with 100 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Dunlin...
Singles on the 3rd and 19th.

Snipe...
Seen regularly with a peak of 20 on the 6th.

Green Sandpiper...
One was heard on the 4th.

Redshank...
Present throughout with a peak of three on several dates...


RedshankAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2016 © Steve Groves


Black-headed Gull...
Present throughout but only 17 were counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th.

Mediterranean Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 150 on the 27th.

Common Gull...
Seen regularly with a peak of over 300 on the 24th.

Great Black-backed Gull...
Present throughout with 230 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

Glaucous Gull...
A first calendar year was present briefly on the 13th...


Glaucous Gull (1st calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


Herring Gull...
Present throughout with 130 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 10th

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

Feral/Domestic Pigeon...
Seen regularly.

Wood Pigeon...
Present throughout.

Collared Dove...
Seen regularly.

Barn Owl...
Singles were seen on the 5th and 10th.

Tawny Owl...
Heard regularly with at least one seen on the 18th.

Kingfisher...
At least one was seen regularly.

Great Spotted Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Green Woodpecker...
Seen regularly.

Kestrel...
Seen regularly.

Peregrine...
One on the 6th.

Jay...
One on the 4th and two on the 20th.

Magpie...
Present throughout.

Jackdaw...
Present throughout with over 500 seen flying east to roost on the 14th.

Rook...
Present throughout.

Carrion Crow...
Present throughout.

Raven...
Seen regularly.

Coal Tit...
Present throughout.

Blue Tit...
Present throughout.

Great Tit...
Present throughout.

Skylark...
Seen regularly.

Cetti's Warbler...
Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit...
Present throughout.

Chiffchaff...
At least two were seen regularly.

Firecrest...
At least one was seen regularly.

Goldcrest...
Present throughout.

Wren...
Present throughout.

Treecreeper...
Seen/heard regularly.

Starling...
Seen regularly but with a peak of 20 on the 18th.

Blackbird...
Present throughout.

Fieldfare...
Eight on the 4th and over 20 on the 28th.

Song Thrush...
Present throughout with a peak of at least 10 on the 12th.

Mistle Thrush...
Seen regularly with a peak of four on the 24th.

Robin...
Present throughout...


RobinAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2012 © Steve Groves


Stonechat...
Seen regularly.

House Sparrow...
Present throughout.

Dunnock...
Present throughout. 

Grey Wagtail...
Seen regularly.

Pied Wagtail...
Present throughout with at least 30 roosting nightly.

Meadow Pipit...
Present throughout.

Rock Pipit...
At least one was seen regularly.

Chaffinch...
Present throughout.

Bullfinch...
At least two were seen regularly...


BullfinchAbbotsbury Swannery, December 2017 © Steve Groves


Greenfinch...
Single figures were seen regularly (up until a few years ago there would be around fifty wintering).

Linnet.
Present throughout.

Goldfinch.
Present throughout.

Siskin...
At least one was heard on the 5th.

Reed Bunting...
Present throughout.



... And that's it for this month except to say thanks to... Alan Barrett, Steve Hales, Richard Philips, Nick Urch and Charlie Wheeler for additional sightings and where applicable for the use of their images. 


January's sightings to follow shortly.

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