Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Can't keep up with it all

I've got photos of butterflies from when the sun was out, and nice pics of patch trash, and quality birds from the Dorset heaths to post, all piling up on my hard drive right now. There's so much wildlife out there and I just can't keep up. And then this thing goes and turns up yesterday, on a day when I had the car at work and camera in the boot.
The first appearance of the Caspian Tern in Weymouth early yesterday morning was too brief to even attempt to get there, which at least spared me having to think up an excuse to be late for work. So I had to wait until the end of the day before legging it to West Bexington where it had been relocated. By the sounds of it I was lucky with my timing as the bird had either been showing more distantly or not at all prior to me getting there, and it flew south east down the coast about 10 minutes later. A good Dorset tick for me and quite a few others judging by the smiling faces on the beach.
Caspian Tern is such an impressive bird - the largest of the terns, and as big as a medium-sized gull. The bill is often described as a carrot but has a dark tip with a touch of yellow on the extremity. The nearest breeding colonies are around the Baltic though who knows where this one came from. Blowing up these photos revealed a metal ring on the right leg, so if anyone can get close enough its provenance could be established beyond doubt!
The first one of these I saw in Britain was at Leighton Moss RSPB in Lancashire. We were driving quite close to the reserve on holiday when news of it broke on the pager, so hot footed it straight to the site. To park we had to get under a very low bridge and I remembered with inches to spare that we had a roof box on, which wouldn't quite have made it. It could have been an expensive tick. That was in 2005, and I hadn't seen one since. The roof box is still going though. In fact I had it on the car yesterday as it hasn't been removed since a camping trip in May. Obviously, I left it on as I can't wait to get that tent loaded up again...

No comments:

Post a Comment