Sunday 13 August 2023

Impressive Sandwich Tern numbers........followed by Arctic Skuas......then Little Terns!

A fresh SW wind, overcast with showers.

At least three Arctic Skua involved in this mornings sightings.  One chasing terns 0820, two more out close inshore at 0833 and two chasing terns 1009 (Dave Hawkins)

Red Nab to saltmarsh shore
Report from Pete Crooks:

An impressive 288 Sandwich Tern – 268 roosting in a single group on the sands off the south side of Ocean Edge on the rising tide, with another 20 roosting on Red Nab at high tide (10.30 am).

5 Mediterranean Gull – 2 adults and 1 2nd winter at Ocean Edge, 2 adults at Red Nab at high tide, but many of the gulls were hunkered down and obscured among the rocks in the fresh SW wind so perhaps more were present.

2 juvenile Wheatear – Red Nab
1 Rock Pipit – Ocean Edge

I started a bit earlier than Pete and watched from the shore (MD).

As the tide was reaching Red Nab there were Sandwich Tern on the waterline some close inshore, lots on Red Nab many of which were flying over my head towards the saltmarsh. Sandwich Terns can't do anything quietly and their calls were deafening! Sadly all my camera picked up was the wind noise!

These are some of the birds near the waterline 

Some of the Sandwich Terns from Red Nab flying towards the saltmarsh 

But many of the Red Nab Sandwich Terns remained with the gulls.

The ones moved on by the tide, began congregating on the shore. This clip is before Pete arrived to check from the slipway, and is to demonstrate location. Many others joined them throughout the rising tide.

I had thought that the rough sea conditions over the past few days would make it impractical 
for the terns to feed. But this one was returning with a Whitebait. 

It somehow managed to locate its mate and asleep. Hardly starving!
There must be large shoals of Whitebait around. So, impractical fishing but obviously not impossible.
 Possibly why the tern numbers are increasing. (MD)

Shelduck 11 including 3 juvenile. Note the sea conditions in this clip, I could hear Sandwich Terns calling from out at sea all the while that I was along the tideline.
Curlew 150
Oystercatcher 60
Dunlin 200
Redshank 10
Lapwing 4

Evening check by Alan Physick
c60 sandwich terns on the sand by North wall this evening before being moved by the tide, 
2 Little Tern on the bay feeding - First of the year