Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Tern Up For The Books

This evenings visit to Castle Lake was with the intention of looking for a possible Citrine Wagtail that Steve Evans saw yesterday, however things didn't quite go according to plan.
I hadn't been in the hide five minutes when Brian Clasper and another birder came running in asking if I'd seen the Tern that was about, Brian had gone back to his car to pick up his Collins as he was leaning towards it being a Whiskered Tern but needed to check some of the features from the book.
After some deliberation the call was put out as a possible Whiskered Tern though there was still some doubt particularly surrounding its pure white rump as opposed to grey with Whiskered Tern, though the general 'jizz' of the bird certainly suggested it could be a 'Marsh Tern'.
Soon other birders started to arrive and eventually after much discussion opinion swayed away from Whiskered and more towards juvenile Common or Arctic Tern.
The bird itself spent most of the time picking up insects from the surface though it did on a few occasions dive into the water from a greater height and was still active as the light started to fade at 19:45 having not landed at all in the two and a half hours of viewing it.
For me I go along with it being a Common Tern but I'm not totally convinced, it certainly provided a useful learning experience as juvenile Tern's are not my forte.

Link to Paul Hindess video of Tern.


There was still time to check what waders were about (there's always time to check what waders are about!), and 3 Ringed Plover (an adult and two juveniles), a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper were noted.
Sadly no sign of the possible Citrine Wagtail and no time to check the flashes or Stoneybeck Lake.

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