Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern, Hockwold Washes, Norfolk/Suffolk | © William Bowell

With Josh rushing back from a hot weekend's birding in Norfolk (more on that later), and Will rushing to the Whiskered Tern with Mac Bell (thanks for the kind lift Mac!), it was more luck rather than judgment that Josh managed to catch up with Mac and Will and hitch a lift for this potential lifer.

They arrived at Hockwold Washes RSPB reserve in the late afternoon, but were soon on to the Whiskered Tern (lifer for Josh, Norfolk tick for Will) as it hawked insects over the main flash. At first it appeared to be associating with Common Terns, but they were soon belting off down the river (and did so several times).
After a while the wandering birders moved round to the bank which overlooks the Oriole Plantation, where the light was better and occasionally the Tern would come closer and even hawked over the plantation a few times! Unfortunately it never really came low enough for decent shots, so only records were obtained.

Whiskered Tern, Hockwold Washes, Norfolk/Suffolk | © William Bowell

Whilst over the flash, Josh amazingly managed a digiscoping record shot of the tern- not bad for a distant, fast moving tern!
Whiskered Tern, Hockwold Washes, Norfolk/Suffolk | © Josh Jones

The Golden Orioles were calling quite a bit, but seemed distant and non-viewable, but then just as we were about to leave, a sudden movement came from the masses as they all flocked to one spot- at the centre of which was Lee Evans. He called the birds, and they obligingly came to the edge of the plantation including a stonking male, right out in the open (giving the best views the wandering birders have had at this site of Golden O's for some time!).

A couple of Whimbrel flew round and there was a movement of Swifts, which were the only things of note really- a great afternoon's twitch though and once again thanks to Mac for the lift!


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