Saturday, 20 April 2013

Finding an Arctic tern at Startops End Reservoir

I noticed that a Slavonian Grebe had been seen at Lea Valley late last night and knowing Jim needed that for a patch tick I took him there first light this morning. The fog was sitting heavy when we arrived at Friday lake but soon lifted as the sun came up but revealed only a Black Swan of any note.
Sedge Warblers are now present in good numbers.

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
After dipping the Slav Grebe we set off back to the car park and managed to hear then see our first Cuckoo of the year. (210)

The whole valley seems alive with Blackcaps at the moment and one male dropped in to give me a chance of a quick shot or two.

Male Blackcap
We moved on to Startop Ends reservoir in search of Arctic Tern and on arrival had our second and third Cuckoo of 2013. The reservoir held good numbers of Common Terns but we managed to find a single Arctic amongst them. Blood red bill, short legs, long tail streamers and that diagnostic black fringe to the wing tips...nailed! (211)

Arctic Tern
Common Tern
From here the journey home took in a couple of stops as we tried to find Ring Ouzel for the Jims but failed despite stops at Ivinghoe Beacon, Blows Downs and Pegsdon Hills.

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