Whiskered Tern resting (@ajordanwildlife)
Flying towards us
Whiskered Tern in flight (@ajordanwildlife)
View from teeth back towards path
View of Swannery
Happiness when a plan comes together
Feeding over sand bar
A Whiskered Tern was seen feeding and flying around the Fleet which backs onto the Swannery. In all honesty I never considered the bird sticking around as they rarely do so I duly made other plans. And yet the bird was reported all day Monday & Tuesday, and with bad weather coming in on Saturday it was time to put a plan together for Wednesday morning.
The tactic would be to wait for postitive news then head south, for a journey around 3 hours 20 mins. We left as planned as soon as the first report hit BirdGuides. The journey was pretty smooth however with 90 minutes to go we received negative news from birders at site, we remained hopeful and carried on regardless although slighly less hopeful.
Parked up safely, £2 for 2 hours, on the beach car park a birder approached us to show us where to go and informed us "the bird is showing really well" ! I had to ask him to repeat himself before we set off on a fifteen minutes shingle beach walk. We must have passed half a dozen happy birders who had all duly seen the bird. Shingle is always a tough walk but the prize was in sight.
At the end of the walk there were a number of tank teeth which everyone stood on to get views of the lake in front of the Swannery. Within a few seconds we picked up the Whiskered Tern flying and feeding low above the water. The bird was small & had a distinctive shallow tail fork and was very dark. It never once stopped flying during our visit and gave us one incredible fly past when being chased by a local Common Tern. The Whiskered Tern is classed as a marsh tern and breeds in southern europe.
Many thanks to Andrew Jordan (@ajordanwildlife) for sending me a couple of fantastic images to use on the blog.