Thursday, 15 March 2012


15th March - I was returning from a belated but successful twitch to the Yellowthroat when I received a text from Alan S saying that he had had a Sandwich Tern flying around the pit but couldn't currently find it.  Fortunately, I was only about 15 minutes away, so was soon on site.  Alan had still not seen the tern again, so I was fearful that it might have flown straight through.  Then, as I scanned the near spit, there it was, a fine Sandwich Tern, fantastic!  It appeared to be having a well-earned rest and often had its eyes shut with bill slightly drooping.  The surrounding gulls seemed fairly settled and so did the tern, apart from a brief flight when it returned quickly to the spit.  However, this time it landed over the brow of the spit and only the head was visible from the bench.  Jim R arrived and saw the bird in this position and shortly afterwards Alan left.  At about 4:30pm, the tern was lost from view and presumed to have walked out of sight, so Jim and I walked towards the SW corner to get a better view of the back of the spit - no tern was viewable - had it flown without being noticed?  Then, absolutely everything flushed into the air - gulls, ducks, the lot!  And they weren't coming back to the spit, many seeming to depart the site.  We couldn't find anything that may have caused this until a large red hot air balloon loomed into view over the southern bank - thanks a lot guys!

Whilst watching the tern with Alan, an adult Med Gull flew in fairly close and settled in the water just beyond the near spit - it was pretty much in full summer plumage, a lovely bird.

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