Thursday, 7 June 2012
Summer plumaged Black Tern - a touch of beauty.
There are a few birds that really get me going, some for their rarity, some for their i.d. challenge, some because of the journey they have made and others because of their beauty. Summer plumaged Black Terns falls into this category. Seeing them in spring is very different to seeing them on an autumn seawatch. Today I chanced upon a pristine bird as it dip fed over the sea off Dinas Dinlle. As the tide came in, several Common, Arctic and Sandwhich Terns fed offshore and gave a good chance to brush up on Arctic / Common i.d. 100+ birds included a mixture of adult birds and several 2cy individuals. These birds looked much paler than the adults, lacking the greyness of adult plumage and I wondered how they would differ to Roseate Tern. A quick read of the literature and a new fact for me came to light - 2cy Roseates (1st summers) stay in the tropics and would not be encountered here, while many 2cy Common and Arctic follow the adults back here in spring. Other birds offshore between Dinas Dinlle and Fort Belan included 50+ Manx Sheatwaters, 20+ Gannet and 15+ Common Scoter. Elswhere, 2 drake Eurasian Wigeon in with the Mallards at the south end of the Foryd - rare birds in North Wales in June. While two late migrants on the long walk to Fort Belan were a single Greenland type Wheatear at the fort, while a very late White Wagtail was with the local breeding Pieds. Waders included 5 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin and 12 Ringed Plover.