Sunday, 28 June 2020

Gull-billed Tern at Dungeness.

Having never seen a Gull-billed Tern before and one being reported on the ARC pit at Dungeness for the past few days, I went down this morning (Sunday 28th) to take a look. Being on the ARC pit and with the reserve still closed, I was not very hopeful of getting any photos but I went with the intentions of seeing the bird as it would be a first. Martyn Wilson and Sue Morton were looking at the bird on my arrival and they put me on to it straight away. Although very distant, it was fishing up and down the back edge of the pit as we viewed from the road, I could easily see the size difference from the numerous Common Terns it was keeping company with. It did venture a little closer allowing the bill to be viewed but a photo from this position was totally out of the question. I was contemplating on leaving for home, the wind was gale force and dark clouds were looming but thankfully the rain skirted our position and the Tern flew over the road and started fishing on the pit opposite the ARC pit and was now a lot closer. It was still difficult waving a lens about in wind that was now reaching speeds of 50 mph, and the sun went in but it was a lot better than being 200 meters away from it which was the case for the first two hours of viewing.

We took a bit of a buffeting from the wind but all in all a worthwhile trip to Dungeness, returning with another tick for the list I don't keep. I also managed to see the Black-winged Stilt that was feeding on one of the islands down by the screen hide at the opposite end of the ARC pit.

I finally caught up with the long staying Pink-footed Goose that has been at Stodmarsh for a good chunk of the year. Probably an escaped bird but I prefer the idea that it arrived wild but has been in the company of the local Greylag flock and has forgotten to leave. It sounds better than “an escapee".

I have just set up a facebook wildlife photography page and can be seen at  

I hope you like it. Thanks for looking.

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