An early afternoon visit found a noticeable increase in tern numbers, but all I could find were Commons. My highest count when I arrived was 18 and by the time I left it had peaked at 22, so obviously still some movement.
Just before I left, many of the terns started to land on the near spit and eventually 15 had settled with the remaining 7 flying over the eastern side. I took some record shots of this group and noticed in one of the photos that 1 bears what looks like a BTO ring on its right leg - no chance of reading that though.
|The bird on the right has a ring|
|The same bird with the ring is in the middle|
Suddenly at 2:45pm, all 15 birds took off in a tight group together with a similar number of Black-headed Gulls and flew towards the southern bank. I thought that perhaps they had decided to leave ahead of some weather, but then just above me, a Peregrine cruised down the west bank, which explained their reaction. It continued to the south west corner and then veered westwards over the STW. It looked to be a sub adult type, with brownish tones to the plumage and some vertical striping to the undersides - a nice year tick, regular but not easy.