Wednesday, 15 September 2010

It all Terned out well in the end

In answer to PC wanderings question there are never too many Tern puns. Some of you may know I dipped the White-winged Black Tern at East Chevington last week and I thought that was my chance gone however this was not the be the case. Today was another failure by saying that I wasn’t going to go out birding to save fuel costs. This was thrown out the window on refreshing a bird news service page at White-winged Black Tern coming up as being present at Cresswell Pond NWT. Having realised that if you snooze you loose I shot of up there with my friend Andy who is also a birder, sure I have mentioned him here many times before.

On arrival I didn’t really feel good about the bird still being present. However on crossing the road to the area where the photographers where standing I was greeted by news from a kind lady that the bird was still present as well as a Wood Sandpiper. I looked and here was the Tern flying only about 30ft from the photographers feeding quite happy and not bothered by their presence. I joined them and had some fantastic views of the White-winged Black Tern allowing for me to observe all the distinguishing features separating it from Black Tern. Observations:
- Smaller than Black Tern and very dainty in appearance.
- Sharp contrast between the white rump, brown mantle, and grey upper tail coverts.
- Underwings very white and when the bird turned very contrasting.

I was quite taken back at how different it was from the Black Tern juveniles I have seen in the past. It was nice to see it gain some height and then fly off out to sea never to be seen again, quite special. Good to finally meet Alan Tilmouth and catch up with Tim Cleeves.

(White-winged Black Tern - Andrew K)
Click on image to increase size

Life tick and year tick, unimportant when I consider the views I got of this fabulous bird.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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