Tern, Tern, Tern (sorry about the pun)

Sunday 4th May 2008

A warm day with heavy showers at times and a light southerly breeze. I started off at Fretherne to catch the high tide which produced a good number of terns coming through with 45 Arctic Terns in groups of 16, 23 and then 5, four Common Terns and best of all a Little Tern. Waders included a group of four summer-plumaged Grey Plovers with a single Dunlin and four Ringed Plovers. The Short-eared Owl was also seen across the river at the WWT 100-acre hunting along the sea wall. Not much of note on the Saul Warth flashes, the Black Swan was there again - the third I've seen in the county this year (self-sustaining population?!). I then checked out the sailing lake (with Nick) where there were 13 Common Terns. Then a group of 43 Whimbrels came straight overhead from the west. A break-away group then circled the lake before appearing to land nearby, possible near Court Lake. (Photos: top, Arctic Terns, below, Whimbrels and, bottom, Common Tern)

The afternoon saw me heading for Slimbridge to try and get on the afternoon Landrover safari to try and see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper I failed to see yesterday evening. Unfortunately, and as suspected, it couldn't run due to the amount of rain that had fallen, so I went back to Frampton instead to walk down to the 100-acre from there. After about 45 minutes, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper finally revealed itself as it made a short flight before landing out of sight again. The two Ruff with which it is associating were also seen briefly. Other highlights included another Little Tern which showed above the sea wall a few times at 14:50 as it headed north, a Black Tern, a male Garganey and the Short-eared Owl hunting again.


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