Monday, 9 May 2016

By a Whisker

I discovered last night that I could sort of coax some life out of my car's clutch and get use out of the first three gears. Eventually temptation took hold and I headed at snail pace to Saltholme for the Whiskered Terns. Timing it just right, I arrived just as the sun dropped below the horizon (you don't want to be looking into the sun!). With three birders still on site and just enough light, I was quickly onto the terns as they fed distantly over Back Saltholme. Panic over and a bonus in the form of five distant Spoonbill. In the last of the light I was able to pick out six Black Tern hawking over East Saltholme.

Tempting fate I headed back down today. With the clutch functioning at time almost normally I even made it home. The two Whiskered Tern and a Black Tern gave stunning views from the Saltholme Hide although shooting into the sun made photography difficult. The five Spoonbill were even more distant than last night.

Whiskered Tern

Now for a few of the Black Tern.

I didn't see a great deal else here other than a few Great Crested Grebe and a Little Ringed Plover. A pair of Garganey showed very poorly in thick vegetation from the Phil Stead hide.

Little Ringed Plover
Back in Gateshead this morning I had three singing Reed Warbler at Watergate and one of David A's Ringed Plover on the Tyne at Dunston. A message from George got me to Shibdon this evening where a Greenshank was feeding in front of the hide with the Black-tailed Godwit.

Ringed Plover

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