Saturday, 17 May 2008

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) & Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) - Berks. 17th May 2008.

Bar-tailed Godwit.

At lunchtime today I received the news that a Bar-tailed Godwit had been found at Black Swan Lake, Dinton Pastures in Berkshire SU783723, still showing as present at 1.20pm on the berksbirds website I made my way over to Dinton to see it. After parking up and navigating my way round Black Swan Lake I finally came to a viewing point where another couple of people were waiting for the Bar-tailed Godwit to show again, it was hidden behind some of the scrub on the island next to the jetty and after a short wait appeared near the waters edge where it sat quietly until a Mallard moved it on. Fraser Cottington arrived and greeted his bird race team mate Andy Johnson who was already watching the Godwit and we watched as it sat quietly on the bank for most of the time only moving to feed occasionally until it was disturbed by a Carrion Crow which flushed it further along the bank and into the long grass. Fraser's mobile then rang to inform him that a Little Tern had been found at Theale Main Pit, another species that I hadn't seen this year and one I was planning to travel and see, it was too good to miss so I headed off to the car.

I made my way through Reading to Theale Main Pit parking up in the lay-by opposite Hosehill LNR when I arrived, a quick walk towards the viewing point found Fraser already in position and viewing the Little Tern on the North-east side of the lake, despite a number of sailing boats on the lake it was easy to get on to the Tern using the boats as markers and I soon was watching my first Little Tern of the year. It remained feeding in the North-east corner with a good number of Common Terns flying behind the distant island and along the edges of the lake, it continued hunting over the water on the far side for most of our viewing time before heading over the lake towards us, as it approached it gave good views of the prominent white forehead and it's black tipped yellow bill as it searched for fish over the water. Ken Moore arrived to see the Tern and regaled us of his recent trip to Scotland and slowly the weather closed in. Fraser said his goodbyes and Ken and I crossed the road to Hosehill to see what was about, nothing out of the ordinary was seen so I followed Ken to Burnthouse Lane before the weather worsened. By the time we got to Burnthouse Lane it was already starting to rain, we made our way to a viewing point and scanned the pit's finding 2 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers amongst others before we left.

Added To My Year List

177. Bar-tailed Godwit
178. Little Tern.

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