A frustrating evening with a marsh tern species seen three times. It was always distant, towards Starcross or upriver, and the light was terrible, not helped by heavy drizzle. The initial impression was of juvenile White-winged Black Tern, but I have to be very careful because I have by no means seen all the salient features and juvenile BlackTern is a potential pitfall, especially for me! Needless to say it never really looked dark enough for juvenile Black Tern and there appeared to be some decent contrast between the 'saddle' and the wings. It looked pale-ended from rear views but again it was hard to get more than just an impression at long range and in murky conditions.
A short sea-watch from the raised beach huts this morning produced 8 Pomarine Skuas, in two groups of four, 25 Common Scoter, 5 Mediterranean Gulls and 1 Little Egret.
From Mudbank I recorded c200+ Mallard, an escaped White-cheeked Pintail, 21 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 3 Great Crested Grebe, c30/40+ Common Tern, 1 Little Tern, several Sandwich Tern, 5+ Mediterranean Gull and, best of all, a single Roseate Tern.
Yesterday there was an Arctic Skua on the seafront and at least 13 Ringed Plover shared the beach with 3 Dunlin and c20+ Pied Wagtail. Bull Hill hosted at least 180 Sandwich Tern and 20+ Common Tern early afternoon. At least 7 Mediterranean Gulls were off Mudbank.
White-cheeked Pintail - nice!
One of at least 13 Ringed Plover on the beach yesterday morning.
Arctic Skua - this one was present early yesterday morning off the seafront.
Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull (front) with juvenile Herring Gull.
Adult winter Mediterranean Gull
One of three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls on Maer Rocks late morning.
Just occasionally the Sandwich Terns use Maer Rocks from which to make feeding forays, affording better views than at any other Exmouth site. Yesterday I counted at least 180 on Bull Hill.
Juvenile Sandwich Tern