Sunday, 4 May 2008

Anything for the bank holiday weekend sir?...Black Terns and a Temminck's Stint. 4th May 2008.

Arriving at Eyebrook Res at around 7.00am in the morning, I scanned the reservoir to note that three Greenshanks, a single Oystercatcher and a flock of twelve( yes twelve!) Common Sandpipers had arrived overnight.
During the next hour, an Arctic Tern and Six Common Terns went through, but nothing much else of note, so I decided to move on Rutland Water for my annual six months visit.

Starting at the Lyndon reserve, I quickly found a couple of Nightingales singing along the track at Gibbet Gorse. Although Nightingales are not the most prettiest bird, there probably have the best song around for any passerine.
Walking slowly back to my car, I scanned the reservoir from the Lyndon reserve, and noticed at least thirty Black Terns flying into Manton Bay, RESULT!!
Watching the Terns hawking over the water for a few minutes, I then let the visitor centre and Birdnet pager services know of the presence of the Black Terns, and then I moved on to towards the Egleton reserve.
As usual there wasn't much to report from the centre except for a Green Sandpiper on lagoon 1, and another flock of 25+ Black Terns communting between lagoon 1 and south arm 3.
Driving round to the north arm, I met up with Ben Croxtall and Matthew Berriman, and asked if there was much about, to which there stated it was pretty quiet, except for the regular Yellow legged Gull, and a single Black Tern over the reservoir and a few Ringed Plovers feeding along the shoreline.
Just before I left Rutland Water we watched a Hobby flew over the north arm towards the lagoons.
After my visit to the east of the county, I returned to my local patch, the Soar Valley.

My first stop was Wanlip Meadows, parking my car at the nearby Watermead CP North, I slowly walked towards Plover Hide, when I met another birder coming out of the hide, and he said to me that he had just seen a Temminck's Stint on the scrape!
Viewing from the hide, I could clearly see the Temminck's Stint was on the far side of the scrape slowly feeding on the shoreline. I congratulated the birder on finding the Stint, and then phoned the news out about the Stint.
Over the last five years Wanlip Meadows has had a very good track record for attracting Temminck's Stints and this was the fifth Temminck's I had seen on the meadows in the last four years!
Waiting for the local birders to arrive, the Temminck's flew off to the small flash in the next field, which could not be seen from the Plover hide, so I let out the news that the Stint had moved and best viewed from the public footpath at the back of Wanlip Lane.
Meeting up with the Groby crew (Allen, Andy and Paul), after driving round to the lane we watched the Stint for the next half and hour, as it feed on the edge of the flash.
The Stint then flew back to the main scrape and I thought it was a good time to make my way home.
So in conclusion an excellent morning birding and the Soar Valley comes up trumps again for an unusual sighting.

Cheers to John and Allen for the photos of the Temminck's and Black Tern.
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