Black outs and black terns

Its been another great week for Spring migrants locally, and whilst I have missed most of them they are worth watching out for. One such highlight for me is the return of the common terns. They are most likely to be seen at the Great Melton Reservoir fishing and I was alerted to their arrival on Friday evening by Dan B. These delicate little sea swallows can be easily confused with arctic terns which have been turning up at Whitlingham in the last couplle of weeks. The Video below courtesy of the BTO and partners will assist in telling the two apart

There is and account of the Arctic terns and other local wildlife on James Emmerson’s blog available here. Yesterday evening though saw a couple of my favourite terns also gracing Whitlingham the black tern. I will endeavor to check the lake more often in the hope that one of these rare beauties also ‘turn’ up locally.


Black Tern being harassed by a black headed gull Credit: djcarr007 via Compfight cc

Whilst checking the lake this week I did spot my first fuzzy headed nestlings which were proving quite adept at staying out of my way and flying comfortably. They were not a species I was expecting to see as I struggled to find Mistle thrush at all early last year. This year they have been more noticeable and their plaintive singing around the outskirts of the village is always good to hear and clearly they are having some breeding success.

DSC_0016Young Mistle Thrush with his punk hair cut.

In other news from round the county I have been warming up for next Saturdays 24hr Norfolk Bird race. I was fortunate to spend a very productive Saturday morning spotting a range of very special species however in order to ensure the other three teams do not get any advantage over ‘The Norfolk Home Guard’. I shall be posting full write ups post event or at least when I catch up on sleep so I end the post with one of the more unexpected species recorded for the first time by me in the Breckland area a Grasshopper Warbler. This is another spring arrival having hitched up from Africa and was in fine voice with his distinctive reeling song which gives the bird its name. Once heard never forgotten.


Grasshopper Warbler Credit: Dennis Lorenz via Compfight cc


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