Sunday, 22 July 2012

It's all rose!

Today was a mid-summer WeBS count and I wasn't really expecting much about. The large knot flock seems to have moved off and there is only a small number of migrant waders about. Being a counter down I headed straight for the beach and left Richard with the fresh marsh to do and I would help if he needed it.
I had only counted a few sanderling when he radioed to say he had a roseate tern on the fresh marsh! Being a reserve tick I needed to see but had to finish my count section. Thankfully it was pretty quiet although a roost of 52 sandwich tern, 130 sanderling and a common sandpiper!!! was nice. A couple of dark phase arctic skuas were also about chasing terns close inshore.
I headed back to the fresh marsh as quick as poss only to be stopped by a couple of people for a chat. Richard radioed to say the terns were getting restless and I made my excuse to get away. Thankfully, despite a short flight, the bird was still present although the Arctic tern that had also been there had flown off.
Having only seen one in the UK before I was keen to see how pale they are and it stood out like a sore thumb with the almost white upperparts, black head and all black bill, the underparts were even still flushed pink! The news was phoned out and it stayed around for a couple of hours before flying towards the sea.
Not bad to see 4 of the 5 breeding British terns together on one island!

Few waders also on the move, 19 spotshank, 11 greenshank and 15 dunlin on the fresh marsh and with white rumped sands at both Frampton and Snettisham, it can't be long before we get something

reserve tick 266, Norfolk tick 279, yeartick 178

roseate left, common middle, sandwich left

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