Saturday 15 July 2017

Caspian Tern on my old patch

Mike Weedon scored heavily with an adult Caspian Tern at Baston & Langtoft Pits, my old stomping ground during my teenage years. Though a regular vagrant to Britain, it's an undeniably impressive species and, with a clear afternoon on the cards, I couldn't resist twitching it.

By the time I arrived it had been missing for the best part of 45 minutes but, after a nervous wait, was picked up fishing over some of the more mature pits in the middle of the (private) complex. Views were initially distant but it then had the decency to perform a close fly-by as it headed back to its favoured roosting spot on the new wader scrape on the north side of the pits - this fantastic site has been producing great birds for a couple of years now, and finally it's had its first true rarity.

Incidentally the bird bears a red ring, identifying it as the individual seen previously in Carmarthenshire and Northamptonshire. The red ring seems to suggest it's Swedish, though I'm not sure if anyone has managed to read the ring fully yet. It'll be interesting to see where it pops up next, assuming it doesn't hang around at BLGP.

A few grab shots below - hurriedly taken using sub-optimal settings and against a grey sky, and not really in focus. But you can tell what it is!

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