Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dotterel and Roseate Tern

For the past week or so i've been making a daily sleck out to the end of the beach to check up out the wader roost. So far i've enjoyed good counts of our common waders, up to 800 Oystercatchers, 300 Ringed Plover, 100 Dunlin etc., but with none of the hoped for goodies. The reward came today as I was scanning through and came upon this juvenile Dotterel, in all its scaly, peachey loveliness. It showed nicely as it roosted and fed on the shingle, before it was flushed by a bunch of wankers walkers.

This was the first Dotterel i've seen since this one, being used as a lure bird in Malta last September, and as I watched todays bird, I couldn't help but worry for it with such perils to come on its migration. Do your bit to help it avoid such a sorry end by joining Birdlife Malta here.

 As we watched the Dotterel, the call of a Roseate Tern alerted us to this adult, and a juvenile feeding offshore. This was the first time i've watched Roseates feeding, and I was amazed at how different from the other terns they are. Rather than flying along fairly slowly, stopping to hover and then dive, the adult was pelting along at full speed, and suddenly pulling a J-turn and making low angle dives at great speed. After catching something, it would toss and catch it's prey in mid-air, call to the young bird which would settle on the water, and then fly down and feed it on the surface before repeating the procedure. Unfortunately most of this happened too far away for photos, but it looked great through the scope. The adult did come just about close enough for a record shot:

Very little passerine movement today, just a couple of Pied Flycatchers including this one in the rain on our washing line.

A nice tame Turnstone


Lawrie said...

Remember the one on Malta, prefer this one!

Anonymous said...

Mentioned in dispatches today, 25th in over a page in the Guardian by Patrick Barkham. Will keep just in case you havn't seen.

Pete Morgan

Joe Cockram said...

Yes Lawrie, this was much nicer, though I still had trouble pronouncing the t's. Thanks Prof, we got a copy sent out to us today