One good tern deserves another

I started yesterday morning at Rishton Reservoir where the two Dunlin were still present as well as an adult and three juvenile Little Ringed Plovers. There were also three Common Sandpipers but only one Great Crested Grebe.

Having said that I felt it would be a good time to visit the north-east, I got a text from John Wright suggesting a trip over for the Syke's Warbler at Druridge Bay. The alternative was to start work on a path over the front garden so the decision was a no-brainer. Having picked up Tim and Janet Davie en route, John made good time up to the site  - the sun came out just as we approached the assembled masses around 1pm and the bird obligingly sat on top of a bush before decamping to another a little further away. We spent the next hour or so enjoying sporadic views of the bird initially but then some much better views of this pale 'hippo' as it moved to a stand of dog rose rather than Hawthorn.

It's 34 years since I saw my first Booted Warbler on Fair Isle (then Britain's 5th record) when this species was considered a race. Though there was a clear supercillium especially in front and over the eye, this was not at all like the broad flared super of a Booted. The flanks were clean and the overall colouration was very pale, not even the milky tea colour of Booted. The great and the good deliberated over it for all to hear but we finally left it in the sunshine to perform to the next set of visitors alongside a male Redstart and Willow Warbler.

We headed south to Whitburn for a look at the terns on the rocks there. There were plenty of birds to see here and our target species, Roseate Tern was quickly found - at least four adults and three juveniles in amongst the couple of hundred or so Common Terns. There was also the odd Sandwich Tern, hundreds of Golden Plover in amongst the boulders, camouflaged to perfection, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank, Turnstone, Curlew and Oystercatcher. The odd Kittiwake, Fulmar and Guillemot could be seen offshore.

Next it was to Saltholme Pools before dusk where we had wonderful views of the juvenile Whiskered Tern in the last light of the day.

It took me ages to get some images of this that weren't blurred because of action or focus - photographing terns has always been a challenge!

We supplemented this little beauty with a rather scratty Little Gull, adult Black-necked Grebe, an immature Water Rail, a couple of Yellow Wagtails, ten or so Little Egrets, Snipe, Ruff, Greenshank and a whole host of ducks and Geese. A great end to a very productive twitch!
Me, Tim, Janet and John


  1. Wow sounds like a very good twitch Dave. I like the last photo a lot.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Goa 13-26 Nov 2018

A short break in Nerja, Andalucia

Olivaceous calling