Elegant Tern – Dawlish Warren, Devon

At just after 11am on Saturday 18th May a Mega Alert reported that a Lesser Crested Tern had been found at Dawlish Warren. Lesser Crested Tern is a major rarity with only 8 accepted records, the most famous of these being ‘Elsie’ a female Lesser Crested Tern who had returned to the Farne Islands each year between 1984 to 1997. I had seen Elsie in June 1990 and so didn’t need to head down to Devon. Later that evening Peter telephoned and I could tell from his tone that he was excited about something […]

Whiskered Tern – Pennington Flash CP, Greater Manchester

After the Least Sandpiper we retraced our steps to the motorway and then headed north up the M6. Pennington Flash was well signposted and we turned into the Country Park at 10:45am. We needed to pay for the car park but between us we didn’t have the change required! I had a £5 note and began to queue at a Burger Van, although the queue was fairly short he was taking forever and I started to get a little anxious […]

Least Sandpiper – Drayton Bassett Pits, Staffordshire/Warwickshire

On Tuesday 21st May a Whiskered Tern had been found in Greater Manchester. May is the peak month for Whiskered Tern and with this species being the most commonly occurring which I still need I was keen to see one. It was assumed that this summer plumaged adult was the individual that was first seen at Lakenheath, Suffolk on 16th May. There had been an adult bird in Wiltshire at Cotswold Water Park on Sunday 14th April […]

Lesser Kestrel (plus an unexpected bonus!!) – St Mary’s, Scilly

At 8:36am on Wednesday 15th May a Mega Alert at work confirmed that a Kestrel which had been seen on St Mary’s the previous evening was indeed a Lesser Kestrel. The clinching feature, pale claws, had been seen well and the bird was also wearing a metal ring, presumably from a Spanish ringing programme. I texted Peter to say I was keen on going but that I couldn’t go the next day, Thursday, because of a meeting in London. I texted Dad to see if he was up for a trip to Scilly on the Friday […]