Sunday, 6 June 2010

Mire lake - MEGA Tern up!!

A lazy Sunday evening was climaxed (such an appropriate word) by a totally unexpected event with yet another good bird (got to be the best this year?) found by Andy Latham! An adult White-winged Black Tern no less, in all it's Summer finery.....

Birds are never close at this site (strictly permit only) and I had to be content with some 'record shots' of this second County record and a tick for anyone who missed the November 1994 bird!

The bird was feeding in typical Marsh Tern fashion, picking insects off the water surface or climbing and taking them in air and then resting distantly on the mud. What a stunning bird, the white forewing, tail and rump contrasing nicely with the black head, underparts, mantle and (in flight) underwing coverts. Add those bright red legs and you have a real beauty....






I tried the stacked converters ploy to gain some extra reach, very few 'keepers' but at the 2x coupled with 1.4x gave me a 1400mm lens of very shaky reach!










Take off....








Here's the distant upperwing detail......








and the underwing......








White-winged Black Terns are small, similar to Little Tern but longer winged, comparison with a Black headed Gull shows just how small!








Despite all my recent travels, nice to have a good bird I wwould have driven a few miles for - turning up locally! A monumental bird to bring up the County '160' for the year too! I'd have settled for this by the Autumn, never mind early June! There's a long quiet patch to go through however and whilst a few good birds are possible (or not) who knows how the year will pan out. The very essence and fun of birding is the unpredictability of it all......

Oh and thanks to Andy once again - great bird, fantastic find and what a way to go to sleep, who'd have thought it eh.... "White-winged Black Tern, bloody hell".......

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