Tuesday, 4 July 2017

a second bite at the cherry

After the disappointment from the disappearance of the Caspian Tern last Friday when the news broke yesterday that it had returned to WWT Llanelli, it was a no brainer - a flexi day was called for.

The birds appearances looked to be tide dependant, or certainly it was more likely to turn up when the tide was in. With todays tides at 3 am and 10 to 4 this afternoon, and I needed to be back in Cardiff for 6pm, I decided on an early start to see if I could connect with the Tern before it headed out into the estuary. The stumbling block was that the centre doesn't open until late in the morning (09:30). But I had a cunning plan.

Arriving at 7am I made my way along the coastal footpath to a slight rise that provides a view, or sorts, over some of the British Steel scrapes. The first birds noted were the 3 Spoonbills, busy feeding, but no sign of the tern. After about half an hour the Tern flew into view before dropping down and was only just visible through the grasses and rushes. It soon moved an offered good, albeit distance views. Unfortunately a Peregrine dashed through putting everything up and the tern was lost to view.

Eventually the centre opened and I made my way to the Millennium wetlands were the tern was soon found flying around.  A quick dive, and it resurfaced with a sizeable fish in its bill, which it proceeded to swallow whole in flight whilst avoiding the harrassing Black-headed Gulls, and then it headed off out onto the estuary.

I wandered round the reserve, picking up a few bits and pieces, 3 Four-barred Longhorns were nice finds as well as my first Orange-spot Piercers

I eventually ended up in the British Steel hide around 1pm, which contained a number of birders desperate for a sighting of the tern. Suddenly it was there resting with the Black-headed Gulls and we enjoyed prolonged views for at least 30 minutes. It was then off to the cafe for a celebratory coffee and cake - Wher's Mr Gaze when you need him? (probably on holiday again).

                                                           The Tern
                                          Four-barred Longhorn
                                          July Highflier (?)
                                          Southern Hawker
                                          Yarrow Plume


  1. Glad you finally caught up with it.

  2. great you got it and some noce photos.