Saturday, 29 August 2009

Farmoor - Black Tern duo

The August bank holiday signals the demise of Summer and hopefully the start of a purple patch of birding? I wasn't alone in thinking that the reported juvenile American Black Tern at Farmoor reservoir was worthy of a good start to the weekend? Just the minor incovenience of a wait until it gets on the BOU list though!

This reservoir is much bigger than it looks and having walked around the perimeter - by mid afternoon, it felt like several miles...

Check out the pic below - one way to save a walk and arrive in style is to hire a windsurfer!!






The causeway turned out to provide the best views of the morning and keeping the American Black Tern company was a juvenile White-winged Black Tern in tow. Capturing two birds with one burst then, was always likely to save a lot of effort and one productive pass across the reservoir when they were roughly the same distance out (pretty far out in fact!) yielded this series of images......










A key difference between juvenile American Black Tern (surinamensis) and our European counterpart (niger) is the presence of dark flanks - seen clearly in the two pics below. The other differences are summarised nicely in this link - here








Even though it was distant, I'd have settled just to see the White-winged Tern (and one tick for the day!) More record shots with that white rump clearly seen from afar....








Feather detail? Forget it, just glad to get these record shots in the bag.....

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