Monday, August 19, 2013

Fancy A Sandwich?

I woke up once or twice on Saturday night with the wind rattling the trees and rain hitting the window. So Sunday morning I headed out to Knott End to watch the tide in and look for overnight strays. The morning was pretty grey as well as blustery, my cameras on a less than ideal ISO800. 

I think the wind had sent the small birds to the shelter of upriver as I could muster only 6 Redshank, 4 Dunlin and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, although the sturdier Curlews hung around on the beach until the tide eventually forced them upriver too. By high tide just 90 Oystercatcher remaining with another 300+ having left as the Wyre channel filled. 

Terns were the stars of the show, many arriving with the tide, some soon leaving in the direction of Fleetwood, others staying put near the jetty and yet more heading east to the roost along the shore. A number of the terns took the opportunity to carry on feeding in the shallow waters at the edge of the tide. In all I estimated 170 Sandwich Terns and 30+ Common Terns in a couple of hours watch. 

After the Lapwings on Friday it was the terns turn to suffer the “dreads” today. A gang of 60 or 70 rested on the sands until every now and then the whole lot would erupt into the air, fly around for a minute or so and then land back on the beach. Their panic made me look around for a skua or maybe a Peregrine, but there seemed to be nothing to generate such a hubbub. There are three or four Common Terns mixed in with the 60+ Sandwich Terns in the picture below.

"Click the pics" for a full sized Sandwich.

Sandwich Terns and Common Terns

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern

 Sandwich Tern and Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull

The Black-headed Gulls aren’t the only ones after a meal at Knott End. Like at most seaside towns the gulls learn that cars = people = hand outs and each large gull defends a feeding territory by employing both noise and threats. 

  Lesser Black-backed Gull

More birdy snacks from Another Bird Blog soon. 


12 comments:

Carole M. said...

Keen Phil, heading out after a blustery night. The terns and gulls, great photos, worth the early morning rise in not so good weather

eileeninmd said...

Phil, a blustery night equals a great birdie morning. The Sandwich Terns are beautiful. I love all the Terns, they have attitude. Great shots, happy birding!

Christian Perrin said...

These are stunning photos - especially the Sandwich Tern against the grey background, and the act of attempted piracy you've captured!

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...the "terns turn" say that 10 times fast lol!!
You do have a way of describing things, you wording of the nights events is like the beginning of a book!!
Perhaps something for you to take up now that you have time on your
hands ; )!
Well those are "cracking" (love that word) good shots of the fishing Tern, did he make a sandwich with it ?? Ya that was sick wasn't it.. I'll try better the next time!!

Your Maineiac friend from Maine
Grace

Stuart Price said...

Nice stuff Phil. I just love terns but they are so scarce in Hokkaido.........

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh the Terns, the Black Headed Gull and the Lesser Black-backed Gull, are all just so full of cheer, for an otherwise bleak sounding weather in your area. We have had absolutely glorious weather for past 2 weeks now, yet I am thinking this week the blazing heat reurns to the norm~

Frank said...

I have a habit of sleeping through most storms .. lol.

Excellent views of the Terns.

BTW Phil, thanks for confirming the ID on the 'islandic' Godwit.

Wally Jones said...

Now that's what I call a Sandwich!

Glad the weather blew a few your way. Wonderful photographs! I especially like the group portrait. Makes for a good identification challenge. (For me, anyway!)

CabinGirl said...

Those Sandwich Terns are gorgeous! I love the shape of their tails... Great photos.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Estupendas capturas.Un abrazo

Stewart M said...

Splendid set of pictures - always liked Sandwich terns - but never saw that many!

Cheers - Stewart M.

PS: Literary reference was to "The World According to Garp".

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I've been catching up on my virtual birding (and banding and counting) and loving all the posts I'd missed previously. You are an intrepid birder...no gales and howling winds can stop you. I love terns and it was fun to see some birds I've actually enjoyed in real life as well as virtually. Thank you for all your posts...I read more than I comment!

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