Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tern Tuesday

Twitchers at Draycote
Yellow Wagtail
 Black Tern (Salford Priors GP)
 Black Tern (Salford Priors GP)
Turnstones & Ring Plovers
 Common Tern causing the stir
 More dodgy shots in poor light

Red-headed Smew just before dark

With a day booked off for recovery after the Scotland trip I couldn’t resist a trip over to Draycote Water first thing to see two White-winged Black Terns reported the previous evening. The views were always distant but you could watch them well through the scope flying around with 25 Black Terns & 2 Arctic Terns.

With an apparent huge Tern passage going on across the country I was keen to make sure we never missed out at the pits so I headed there directly but could only find a Turnstone, two Ringed Plover and a male Mandarin down at Abbots Salford.

In the evening I returned with Paul and we had a bumper session. First scan revealed 3 Black Terns & 6 Common Terns of which 4 took off. One of the remaining Terns had a very dark beak and we were very hopeful it could be a Rosette Tern. The light was awful making photography very difficult but I did take a few rough grainy shots that indicated it was a Common Tern with a dark beak. Strangely enough Belvide looked to have a similar bird the following morning. However the photos on Twitter were only showing the bird perched. Our bird clearly showed black on the trailing edge (broader & greyer) of underwing whilst Roseate Tern is usually all white with no trailing edge,  Arctic Tern has a narrow well defined black trailing edge.

In the final minutes of scanning a small bird landed in the north east corner of the pit, on closer inspection it was a red headed Smew ! This was my first record of the species at the site. The bird seemed very tired as it went to sleep also straight away.

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