Monday, 30 June 2014

Migration in Worcestershire! Black Terns and waders.

With the weather looking as superb as it did for dropping some passage migrants, (that being Waders and Terns) the fairly easy decision to get out and bird was taken, and it was down to Grimley pits, as being suitably underwatched there was always the potential to find something!
On arrival, we joined up with another local birder and went about scanning from the viewpoint.  Other than 2 Common Sandpiper, we failed to find any passage waders from here, but a nice number of Yellow Wagtails and 2 White Wagtails were showing on the Causeway and mud, so we walked down the track to get a better view.
We were just reaching the corner of the path when a dark wading bird took off from a hidden area behind the causeway.
Luckily, the bird didn't want to go anywhere, and dropped straight onto the shoreline of the east bank, and spent the remainder of its time here feeding. It could often disappear among the long grass however, and combined with the distance this meant I didn't really attempt to get any better photos than when it first landed.
A large flock of Hirundines were hawking over the pools, and these were joined by two Swifts, my first of the year, which sped around the pools briefly before heading off north.
No doubt attracted by these, a small Falcon speeding low in from the north proved to be my 2nd HOBBY of the year, which gave a great view as it flew low directly over our heads before continuing on south.
I went down to check to south end of the pools, but while doing so received news that the bird I had predicted would turn up had, but at Upton Warren. So, following a 15 minute car journey I was pulling into the Moors Pool car park, and soon after enjoying the sight of 3 stunning summer plumaged BLACK TERNS!
I miss the summer plumaged birds most years as they seem to always show up when I am away, so I was very grateful to have these birds thoughtfully drop in while I was birding just down the road.
Even more thoughtfully of them, they chose to land a few times on the sticks and platform adjacent to the west track, giving great views, and allowing me to get a few snaps of this 'plumage tick' for me.

They flew around the pool regularly though, and spent much of the time calling to each other, no doubt still feeling a huge migratory and breeding urge. A couple of times they all flew up fairly high, but each time they dropped back down to again resume feeding over the pool.
I even managed to get all 3 Black Terns in a picture.
After a while the Terns were forced off their perched by a pair of Mallard, and at that point we chose to head off as a 'quick drop into Grimley' turned out to a whole afternoons birding.

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