There was a delay on this blog post as I was out late Sunday night on a brilliant evening of birding, but I shall come to that in due course.
As the week started with birds, the week also began with birds as I visited the Abbotsbury Swannery this week. It’s a lovely place, the only managed colony of nesting mute swans in the world – they even have a swanherd! It is at the opposite end of the Fleet to the Chesil Centre, and there are hundreds of swans who nest there.
That in itself is amazing as they’re very territorial creatures, so the fact that they can nest in such close proximity to each other is pretty awesome. As is the fact that you can walk through the colony without stressing them out (obviously common sense dictates and you mustn’t go too close to the swans or their nest, because that would cause stress!).
Whilst wandering around the swannery, I got a new tick – both for my Dorset birds list and for the birds I’ve ever seen … well, heard. It was a reed warbler, very exciting to hear.
I was back at the swannery later in the week where I saw another waterbird that I love. Specifically the chicks of a waterbird – moorhen chicks! They are just balls of complete fluff and incredibly cute.
The week saw the second session of the moth ID workshop, this one lasted at least three hours! And it was great, so many new species!
On Sunday, I spent the afternoon being crafty at the Chesil Centre, having spent some time trying to find some really fun arty crafty activities. A couple of my favourites were the jellyfish in a bottle and the cardboard octopus. I made an octopus, which was super cute, for one of the other trainees who had a birthday recently.
The evening saw my week end with birds on the Lulworth Ranges with Steve Hales, a local birdringer. It’s an amazing place, full of fabulous habitat and special species. We went there to mistnet and ring a couple of specific species, but unfortunately the birdringing session turned into a birdwatching session. Mind you, I still saw the birds – three new species for myself and some practice ID on other species. The new ones were: woodlark, Dartford warbler and nightjar. Plus I saw some bats on the drive back, thought to be pipestrelles.
As I didn’t get photos of the birds at the ranges, or the bats on the way home, I thought I would add in a photo of a fluffy lamb at the swannery.