Tuesday, 21 September 2010

**WHISKERED TERN**

In the last post there was a slight hint! Once I got back into my room in Bangor; late evening, I phoned Alex to see if he wanted to go for the tern and it was a pretty abrupt yes. However, I was supposed to be leading a fieldtrip on the Great orme in Llandudno with Mr M Bridge for the RSPB Southport group, but finding out that there were no trains from Bangor - Llandudno until lunctime, it was clear that I wasn't going to make the trip. The small group that did end up going got absolutely drenched {typical North wales weather} and managed to see 1 Meadow pipit and 1 Stonechat! Woops... Anyway, after several phonecalls here and there, the plan was to wait on news and then go for the tern in the morning with Alex.

In the morning around 10am, the tern came on the pager, a quick hop on the train to Rhyl where Mr Jones picked me up and we were on our way for our first Whiskered tern!! On arrival, the bird was still showing outside the hide on the pools - great!! A quick dash to the hide and there on the far side of the pond was our first Whiskered tern for Britain and a great yeartick for both of us, esp myself.. My 241st bird for 2010 and only 1 more bird was needed to draw with my 2009's yearlist total..

The bird showed well on and off, often flying round over the pools for 20 minutes and then coming to an island in front of the hide to have a rest and a bathe and then flying off for a feed once again. It did at one stage fly off and disappear due a Peregrine that shot through, but duly returned.. Not much else around the reserve, but a report of a Buff-Breasted sandpiper had us ready to race off but that also flew off high south, a few mintues later after being found..

Next stop was New Brighton for a seawatch for the chance to pick up a straggling Leach's Petrel but even this was not to be. The rain from North Wales had reached us and we soon had to shelter under a overhang by the castle at New Brighton. In the middle of the afternoon, we decided to call it a day as the weather had closed in completely. Can't complain with a Whiskered tern though!

Disastrously, we tried getting to Bromborough train station where I could catch a train back home, as I planned on staying at home for the week once I had put all my stuff into my room at univeristy. However, the line from Chester - Liverpool was shut so we went back to Rhyl where I caught another train back to Bangor and came home the next day, somewhat tiring as you will find out!

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Some video footage of the Whiskered tern when it landed to have a rest and bathe..

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