Sandwich Tern surveying both days this weekend at Ainsdale, and predictably with the combination of highish tides and reasonable weather, the roosting waders, terns and gulls suffered much disturbance.
Hard to get an accurate count today, but Common Tern numbers started to pick up yesterday and today two Little Terns – an adult and a juv – dropped in to join
the dozing Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover and Sarnies (700+ now).
Better still was a pure white/leucistic Sandwich Tern which swept past south, presumably the bird ringed as a nestling at Sands of Forvie in Aberdeenshire last year which spent a week or two at Ainsdale and on Fylde in 2017.
I didn’t connect with it last year, so today’s brief flight view was much appreciated – if this can make it over from Aberdeenshire, what other considerably rarer terns may make the same journey I wonder (okay okay Sooty fans, but you’ve got to dream…and the Cemlyn bird seems so long ago now).
I did manage a terrible exposure disaster image of it as it flew away from me, but I’m sure folk will get better pictures if it hangs around…
It’s the smudge in the middle.
Through the bins it seemed to have the same pale yellowy bill as last year’s freak, but I didn’t get it on the deck to check for the colour ring.
Finally bagged last year’s great white whale Ahab.
The Sandwich Terns barely settled as dog walkers etc wandered through them as if they weren’t there – although most understood when I explained about disturbance, and resolved to avoid roosts in future.
You just gotta keep explaining….
As the tide fell back waders began feeding again, including some fine summer plumage Turnstones – I know they’re regular here now, but they are stonking birds…