Little Tern, Ferry Meadows CP, 26th April 2014
On Friday the weather forecast for yesterday was pretty poor, with the threat of almost continuous drizzle, so I rushed round like a mad thing and mowed the lawns – this resulted in a rare thing nowadays, a Saturday afternoon ‘off’ in the Peterborough area. As it turned out the weather was much better than predicted, so I decided to go and have a look at a small ‘trip’ of Dotterel that had been reported at a traditional ‘stop-over’ spot, just south of the city. When I arrived at Black Bush Fen there where a few folk looking over a vast freshly planted peat field. The Dotterel, two females and a male, were hunkered down in the furrows at the far end, making for acceptable telescope views but rendering photography of any form virtually pointless – still nice birds to see, particularly as we missed them on last years ‘Big Year’.
With time on my hands I decided to continue on to Ferry Meadows in search of the reported Black and Little Terns – the latter surprisingly being a Peterborough Bird Club (PBC) recording area tick for me. I took the back way into the country park and approached Gunwade Lake from the ‘wrong side’ – but still I managed to pick out, first the summer plumage Black Tern and then, fishing in front of the swanky new cafe, the Little Tern. I walked round to the boat club side and, in the company of a couple of other Peterborough birders, spent a happy hour watching the birds and catching up with events on my former ‘patch’. I did manage a few acceptable record shots.
First the adult summer Black Tern
This particular bird showed a striking ‘two-tone’ dark throat and belly – not something I’ve previously been aware of. I assume it’s to do with the stage of transition into summer plumage – or perhaps it’s that I’ve just not looked closely enough in the past!
I told you that photography was pointless – but just for the record, Dot.. terel, two females (unusually they are the brighter ones of the species) and a male
Last word (photo actually) goes to the Little Tern, a PBC ‘tick’
An excellent afternoon out on the ‘old patch’ and three nice birds into the bargain.
Great stuff, ages since I saw a Black Tern