Another intersting May day.
Started off with an early lagoon count but most of the waders had gone including the yesterdays phalarope. Highlights were a male merlin flushed our of the eastern dunes and 17+ avocet chicks on the fresh marsh. At about 10am, a visitor came in to report 3 Temminck's stints - could they have been the birds that had been seen last on Thursday, or new ones in - who knows!
Just after midday, I popped into the visitor centre to see if there was anything in the sightings book. I looked over the shoulder of the birder who was writing in GULL-BILLED TERN over at fresh marsh at 11:45. I am sure that if I hadn't have been there he wouldn't have said anything. The 2nd one that I have missed in the last year.
A few bittern sightings prompted us to go out onto the reserve to see if there was any breeding activity. After an hour, a birder stopped and said that the gull-billed tern was still on the fresh marsh! Not knowing that it was there at all, I radioed the office and rushed down to find the bird sitting on one of the islands! A UK, Norfolk and Titchwell tick. As a rain storm approached, the bird got a bit more mobile but did give close flight views from the Island Hide. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the lagoons before heading off to the fields to feed. The Temminck's right in front of the Island Hide gave all an added bonus.
Is the brown tinge to the tertials a sign of immaturity? I can't find any reference to it in my books.