Saturday, 4 April 2015

Spring meets winter at Abbotsbury

Spring migration has been, by common consent, a bit slow to get going this year. So, having spent a couple of days indoors playing bored board games, news of a Black-winged Stilt on the Meadow Pool at Abbotsbury Swannery roused me from the sofa for the afternoon. Shelling out the £11.50 entrance fee is a bit of a gamble here when birds can be viewed distantly but frugally from a public road, but it's a gamble that's paid off for me before the last time a Black-winged Stilt turned up a few years ago at this location, and again when a Semipalmated Sandpiper did the same.

It didn't work out quite so well today as the Stilt remained distant and obscured apart from a minute long foray into the open when the picture below was taken. The Swannery also produced my first Willow Warbler and Swallow of the year. But as well as visible portents of spring, there were also some lingering signs of winter with a Scaup, a Greenland White-fronted Goose and a foursome of Long-tailed Duck still present. I managed to photograph all of these waterfowl, so pretty good value all told.
Black-winged Stilt, Abbotsbury Swannery (135th species photographed in 2015)
Drake Long-tailed Ducks in flight (#136)
These are the females
One of the drakes again
And the whole flock together
Swimming in the ABBA formation
The flock was distant at first but came closer when hassled by a Great Crested Grebe
This gives some idea of how close in they came
A single Greater Scaup was at the Swannery - here with a Tufted Duck
And here with a hybrid with which it appears paired
Very smart plumage
And finally, the Greenland White-fronted Goose
Becoming quite tame - getting used to Swan food no doubt

No comments:

Post a Comment