Saturday 3 May 2014

New for the patch: Black Tern and Little Gull

Black Tern Chlidonias niger - an old pic from 2008
Local patch: it was a good couple of days along the coast as I added two new species for my patch list. Yesterday in the afternoon I had a look at the sea from my window and saw a flock of BLACK TERNS. They were flying around and hunting under the rain and some were perched on floating rubbish. I counted at least 46 individuals. This is a regular and fairly common species in wetland habitats, but I never had the chance to see it on migration over the sea.
Today I checked the sea again in the hope of finding a Yelkouan Shearwater, skua or Gannet (all reported these days in other coastal locations), but found instead a flock of about 10 LITTLE GULLS on the sea in front of Miramare. One was clearly an immature (black "W" on back and upperwings), the others were mostly adults with black hoods and dark underwing.
Supporting cast included and unexpected female Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Common Terns and 1 Great Crested Grebe. A few days ago I also had a flock of 26 Med Gulls and 12 Black-necked Grebes.
This morning the first Golden Oriole in the patch was singing again and both Willow and Wood Warbler were heard a few days ago in the nearby gardens.

Local patch list now at 162 species.