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, 7 August 2018

Abbotsbury Swannery Bird Sightings - May 2018

Highlights...
Arguably the best bird of the month was the long overdue first European Bee-eater for The Swannery, seen and videoed by Joe Stockwell. Also in contention was a putative ‘Siberian Common Tern’, presumably the regularly returning individual and a 'Continental Coal Tit' the first confirmed sighting of this form at The Swannery. Also noteworthy were a Garganey, a lingering Greater Scaup, up to three Western Ospreys, a Little Gull, at least three Arctic Terns, a Roseate Tern and a Short-eared Owl.

The putative 'Siberian Common Tern', Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves.


The Month's Bird News In Full...
More details of the above highlights and the rest of this month's sightings...


Canada Goose... Present throughout with 69 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Barnacle Goose... The lingering bird was present until the 13th, whilst four flew south east on the 22nd.

Brent Goose (Brant Goose)... One of the Russian (dark-bellied) breeding form was present on the 2nd .

Snow Goose... One on the 26th (a presumed escape) was believed to be the same individual seen last month.


Snow Goose, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Snow Goose, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves


Greylag Goose... One on the 5th, three on the 12th/13th and one on the 29th.

Black Swan… Two were present for much of the month.

Mute Swan... Present throughout with 670 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.


Mute Swan (2nd calendar year) & Snow Goose, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018
© Steve Groves


Common Shelduck... Present throughout with 62 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.
Common Shelduck (duckling), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves

Northern Shoveler… Present through much of the month with a peak of seven on the 15th.

Garganey... A drake was present on the 22nd.

Gadwall... Present throughout with a peak of eight on the 26th.

Eurasian Wigeon... A single drake remained throughout.

Mallard... Present throughout with 88 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Northern Pintail... A female with wing damage remained all month and a confiding (presumed escaped) drake was also seen regularly.


Northern Pintail (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Eurasian Teal... 20 were still present on the 1st but by the 3rd only a single drake remained and it lingered for the rest of the month.

Common Pochard... Present throughout with a peak of 26 on the 26th.


Common Pochard (drake), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 ©  Joe Stockwell

Tufted Duck... Present throughout with a peak of 30 on the 8th.

Greater Scaup... The lingering second calendar year female was present until the 15th.

Common Scoter... One, a female, was present from the 3rd to the 6th.

Red-breasted Merganser... One on the 1st.

Common Pheasant... Present throughout.

Little Grebe... One on the 8th.

Great Crested Grebe... Present throughout with 31 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Great Crested Grebe, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves

Grey Heron... Singles were seen regularly.

Little Egret... Present throughout with three counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Great Cormorant... Present throughout with around 20 roosting nightly.

Western Osprey... Singles on the 12th, 14th and 22nd.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk... Singles were seen regularly.

Western Marsh Harrier... Singles were seen regularly but at least two individuals were seen on the 7th and 23rd.


Western Marsh Harrier, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Red Kite... An unprecedented movement took place between the 6th and 26th mostly involving single figures but with at least 25 west on the 14th and a staggering 58 west on the 15th.


Red Kite (& Rook), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell
Red Kites, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Common Buzzard... Present throughout.

Water Rail... A dead chick was found on the 22nd indicating proof of breeding (a rarely proven event) but no adults were seen or heard.

Common Moorhen... Present throughout with 9 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Eurasian Coot... Present throughout with 28 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Eurasian Oystercatcher… Present throughout with a peak of 13 on the 9th which included three nesting pairs.



Eurasian Oystercatcher, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves


Eurasian Oystercatchers (chick & adult), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Pied Avocet… One on the 13th and two on the 19th.



Above images Pied Avocets, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018
© Steve Groves. The colour marked bird was believed to be ringed in France


Northern Lapwing... Last month’s individual remained into this month and was last seen on the 14th.

Grey Plover... Singles on the 6th, 12th, 17th and 28th.

Common Ringed Plover... Seen regularly with a peak of eight on the 23rd.


Common Ringed Plover, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Whimbrel... Seen regularly with a peak of at least 20 on the 6th.

Bar-tailed Godwit... Seen regularly with a peak of five on the 12th.

Black-tailed Godwit... Seen regularly with a peak of 10 on the 28th. All were of the Icelandic breeding form.


Above images Black-tailed Godwits, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018
© Steve Groves

Ruddy Turnstone... Seen regularly with a peak of 11 on the 22nd.


Above images Black-tailed Ruddy Turnstones, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018
© Steve Groves
Ruddy Turnstone, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Red Knot... One was present on the 23rd/24th and two were seen on the 27th.

Sanderling... Seen regularly with a peak of 19 on the 29th.

Dunlin... Seen regularly with a peak of  at least 100 on the 9th.



Above images Dunlins, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves

Common Sandpiper… Singles on the 1st, 6th, 7th and 17th.


Above images Dunlins, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Common Redshank... Seen regularly with a peak of three on the 24th.

Common Greenshank... Four on the 6th.

Black-headed Gull... Present throughout with 39 counted during the Wetland Bird Survey on the 20th.

Little Gull... One (a second calendar year) was present on the 19th.

Mediterranean Gull... Seen regularly with a peak of seven on the 29th.

Common Gull (Mew Gull)... At least two were still present on the 1st but the only other sightings were of singles on the 7th and 30th.


Common Gull (2nd calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Great Black-backed Gull... Present throughout with a peak of at least 50 on the 1st.

European Herring Gull... Present throughout with a peak of at least 250 on the 12th.

Sandwich Tern... Seen regularly with a peak of at least 10 on the 7th.

Roseate Tern... One on the 31st.

Common Tern... Present throughout with a peak of at least 100 on the 14th. The regularly returning individual showing characters of the Siberian breeding form was seen on the 24th.


The putative 'Siberian Common Tern', Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves.
Here the redness of the tongue shows that the bill really is black and not just a light affect. There were other dark-billed Common Terns present but none had quite such black bare parts as this bird or had the distinctive 'feel' of this individual.

Common Terns (Adult & 2nd calendar year), Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018
© Joe Stockwell

Common Terns, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell


Arctic Tern... One on the 1st and at least two on the 16th.


Arctic Tern, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Rock Dove... Feral/Domestic birds were seen regularly.

Stock Dove... Seen regularly.

Common Wood Pigeon... Present throughout.

Eurasian Collared Dove... Present throughout.

Western Barn Owl... Singles on the 29th and 31st.

Short-eared Owl... One flew north on the 27th, the first since November 2016 and the first in spring since April 2010.

Common Swift... Seen regularly with a peak of 50 on the 16th.

European Bee-eater... 
What was perhaps surprisingly the first for The Swannery flew north on the 26th.

Great Spotted Woodpecker... Seen regularly.

European Green Woodpecker... 
Seen regularly.

Common Kestrel... One or two were seen regularly.

Hobby... Singles on the 7th and 25th were the first since August 2017.

Peregrine Falcon... Singles on the 2nd, 5th, 11th and 29th.

Eurasian Magpie... Present throughout.

Western Jackdaw... Present throughout.

Rook... Present throughout.

Carrion Crow... Present throughout.

Northern Raven... Seen regularly.

Coal Tit... The only sighting was of one present on the 5th and it was the first confirmed record of an individual of the Continental form for The Swannery!

Eurasian Blue Tit... Present throughout.

Great Tit... Present throughout.

Eurasian Skylark... Present throughout.

Sand Martin... Seen regularly until the 17th, with a peak of 100 on the 16th.

Barn Swallow... Present throughout, with a peak of 100 on the 16th.

Common House Martin... Seen regularly until the 17th, with a peak of 50 on the 16th.

Cetti's Warbler... Present throughout.

Long-tailed Tit... Present throughout.

Willow Warbler... Seen regularly until the 7th, with a peak of over 10 on the 4th.

Common Chiffchaff... Present throughout.

Sedge Warbler... Present throughout.

Eurasian Reed Warbler... Present throughout.

Eurasian Blackcap... Present throughout.

Garden Warbler... One on the 22nd.

Lesser Whitethroat... At least three singing males were present throughout.

Common Whitethroat... Present throughout with at least five seen/heard on the 7th.

Goldcrest... Present throughout.

Eurasian Wren... Present throughout.

Eurasian Nuthatch... One on the 1st.

Eurasian Treecreeper... Seen regularly.

Common Starling... Singles on the 7th, 19th and 27th.

Common Blackbird... Present throughout.

Song Thrush... Present throughout.

Mistle Thrush... A pair were present to the 5th only.

Spotted Flycatcher... One on the 12th, three on the 14th and one on the 29th.

European Robin... Present throughout.

Northern Wheatear... Three on the 4th, two on the 5th, one on the 7th and one on the 27th. At least three of these, if not all, were of the Greenland breeding form.


Northern Wheatear, Linton Hill above Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves


House Sparrow... Present throughout.

Dunnock... Present throughout.

Western Yellow Wagtail... Two on the 2nd and singles on the 11th and 16th.


Western Yellow Wagtail, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Joe Stockwell

Pied Wagtail (White Wagtail) ... Present throughout.



Above images Pied Wagtails, Abbotsbury Swannery, May 2018 © Steve Groves

Meadow Pipit... One on the 2nd only. Sadly none held territory this year.

Common Chaffinch... Present throughout.

Eurasian Bullfinch... Seen or at least heard regularly.

European Greenfinch... After being extremely scarce so far this year it was good to see a return to form from the 11th on, with at least one pair holding territory.

Common Linnet... Present throughout.

European Goldfinch... Present throughout.

Common Reed Bunting... Present throughout.




... And that's it for this month except to say thanks to my work colleagues for additional sightings and additional images, particularly Joe Stockwell and Charlie Wheeler but also Kev Butler, Phil Jenks and Jonny White. Also thanks to the WeBS counters ... Alan Barrett and Nick Urch.

I'll leave you with a couple of Joe Stockwell's dragonfly images from this month...



Above images male & Female Broad-bodied Chasers, Abbotsbury Swannery,
May 2018
 
© Joe Stockwell



June's sightings to follow shortly.

1 comment:

  1. I really love the photo you took of the Common Pochard, very interesting looking bird. The color of the feathers and the eyes is very striking. Thanks for the share, hope you had a fantastic weekend. Keep up the posts.

    World of Animals

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