Friday, 3 July 2015

Burton Mere - Gull-billed Tern

I'm pretty lucky (or cautiously selective) with my twitches so there aren't many birds I've dipped twice! Two notable exceptions however are Terek Sand and Gull-billed Tern......

I'd been watching developments via the news services late afternoon - a Gull-billed Tern appeared to be sticking at Burton Mere RSPB. I couldn't get away until after 6 but at 6.10, I was thundering down the road.....

Ten minutes away and the dreaded news came out - 'flown out in the direction of the estuary' Oh well, it may fly back I thought? It did!! News came out on arrival at 7.30 - it was back!!

I put my foot down, stopping only on the bank overlooking the scrapes where some birders were scoping it - insurance tick or what!! It was tickable (just) but I legged it to IMF hide for a better view!

A better view? It was much closer but stubbornly remained facing into the wind which was directly into the hide! Every now and then giving a flash of that monster bill :-)


A brief preen didn't reveal much more detail! But just look at those long legs!


Eventually, after a brief fly around (which I missed whilst texting news out) it landed and had a walkabout amongst some black heads....


This is the only frame with the bird in full view?




It didn't get any better!


Oh well, might as well record 'the way it was'! I must have watched it for about 40 mins, when something spooked everything!


It was flying off big time at 8.35 - distant in appalling light, these are the only flight record shots I could muster!


But they do show the clear cut trailing edge to the outer primaries and short tail :-)





The reserve locks up at 9.00 - I had 20 minutes to get back to the car! Oh well, job done....

I needed music to keep me relaxed on the journey there! My playlists cover over 40 years and two tracks came to the fore - while I was thundering down the road. The Boss at his very best live?? No Nukes tour in 1979. What an ending.....


As for Gull-billed Tern, before today - I need you - and now for something completely different from 2009 courtesy of N-Dubz....


I was back within 4 hours of setting off - there's a lot you can achieve in 4 hours!! Just the small matter of a Terek now? One day......

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