Sunday, August 17, 2008

Terns

The sun sets in to Teeside from Old Nab

A gentle August evening, just the job for another go from the Old Nab with terns the target species. I was not to be disappointed with small numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns evident inshore on my arrival just before 6 p.m. Careful scrutiny out towards Denmark indicated that there were some hundreds of feeding terns in the near North Sea. My thinking had been that although Kettleness was pretty good for terns the Old Nab should do better in the evenings as the birds headed back in to the Tees to roost. Initially the birds were frustratingly distant but as time wore on and they began to head for the Tees they generally came closer and I found the first of three Roseate Terns at 7:10 p.m. Arctic Terns were scattered amongst the predominant Commons and two more Roseates were found 20 minutes later. In all I reckoned 500 or so Common Terns and 30 Arctic but it was a bit of a guess as I'd forgotten my tally counter and decided to concentrate on separating out the more interesting species. Also for my delectation was a Red-necked Grebe, a second summer Little Gull and a Bonxie. A likely Sooty Shearwater managed to vaporise into a trough before it could be confirmed and was unrelocatable.

It was encouraging to see the feeding swarms of terns, clearly there are fish available and there seemed to be some numbers of juveniles of both Common and Sandwich Terns. Only 40 or so Guillemots were offshore, although there were a fair number of juveniles. Kittiwakes were counted at about 50 with only five juveniles. usually at this time of year I would expect to see many hundred Kittiwakes and many more auks so this was concerning.

Cormorant world was back to normal with just one heading east. There were several Harbour Porpoise feeding off the Nab.

Emerald Damselfly

A family outing to the moor pond early in the afternoon had found a few Emerald Damselfly, a Southern Hawker a sadly demised Great Diving Beetle and a single, very small, Common Frog.
Great Diving Beetle


2 comments:

Nick said...

Lovely picture but its an Emerald Damselfly not a Blue Tailed

Alastair said...

Nick,
Oops, quite right, I'm not very good at damsels and did the id late at night. Now corrected.