Posts Tagged ‘Common Tern’

Common Tern

Posted: August 21, 2018 in Birds, Natural History
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The Common Tern is a bird with a graceful and buoyant flight which feeds by plunge-diving into the water for fish. Its flight has led it to be called the ‘Sea-Swallow’. It is a Summer visitor to the UK, wintering in the Southern Atlantic and it’s UK breeding population is estimated at 12,000 pairs. It is the commonest of the Tern species visiting the UK in the Summer and can often be found in inland cities including London where it breeds on areas of water including London Docklands and areas adjacent to the River Thames. This colonisation has been helped by providing artificial platforms for them to use to build their nests.

Greenwich Ecology Park

 

During our visit to the Tall ships festival, Keith and I took the opportunity to drop into the Greenwich Ecology Park to see if any Common Terns had arrived after migration at this breeding site and also to check whether the first dragonflies had emerged. The reserve was relatively quiet with just a few resident birds present – there were no Terns to be seen and no dragonflies either.

Greenwich Ecology Park

On leaving the reserve we walked towards the O2 dome and we found two Common Terns sitting on a barge in the middle of the river, along with a selection of Gulls.

Common Tern

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull

Canada Goose

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Some more pictures from our Northumbria trip

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

 

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

 

Great Tit

Great Tit

 

Common Tern

Common Tern

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

 

Great Tit

Great Tit

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Our lunch break on the second day of our journey north was at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Washington near Sunderland. This is a wonderful site on the banks of the River Wear.

Our first stop was at the woodland hide where we were treated to a group of male Bullfinches on the feeders and the surrounding trees. There was an occasional sight of  young birds in the tree cover being fed.

Bullfinch (m)

Bullfinch (m)

Joining them were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tit, WillowTit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, whilst Robin, Pheasant, Dunnock and Blackbird fed on the ground. Well, all except one young Blackbird who seemed intent on trying to hang on a feeder – without any success.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

 

Pheasant

Pheasant

From here we passed onto the scrape and saw plenty more evidence of successful breeding. Young Avocets and Lapwings were already feeding independently, whilst on one part of the water there was a school of young Shelduck. Close examination of the islands revealed many hidden Common Tern chicks and Sue pointed out a Little Ringed Plover with chicks.

Common Tern

Common Tern

On a fence we found 3 young Barn Swallows, who seemed unworried by our closeness and only intent on the parent flying into feed them.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

All too soon it was time to head back to the car and recommence our journey but one more treat awaited us. As we passed the Asian Otter enclosure the adults were playing (teaching?) their young in the pool and allowed a great photo opportunity

Asian Short-clawed Otters

Asian Short-clawed Otters

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Willow Tit [sp] (Poecile montanus)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Sue and I set out for the coast intending to visit a couple of nature reserves on our way, but the amount and speed of the traffic on the motorway convinced us that we would have little time when we got there before we would have to head back for home so we changed our plans and stuck to visiting some sites in NW Kent.

Our first stop was Leybourne, where we heard a Nightengale singing from a bush. This is an excellent area and we have never failed to find them on any visit. Hearing them is one thing but seeing them is something far more difficult.

Sevenoaks KWT reserve

Sevenoaks KWT reserve

Moving on we came to the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Sevenoaks. On the main lake a pair of Eygptian Geese were feeding with their gosling and a pair of Greylag Geese had a brood of 9.

Egyptian Goose with Gosling

Egyptian Goose with Gosling

 

PIed Wagtail

PIed Wagtail

The star bird here was a Little Ringed Plover which was briefly seen on the edge of an island.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Our final stop was Bough Beech where 2 Common Terns were resting on the causeway. These were my first Common terns of the year. I don’t know if it is my imagination but they seem to be arriving late this year. Keith and I were surprised not to see a single bird last week in Dorset.

Common Tern

Common Tern

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Nightingale [sp] (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

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After a morning meeting in Blackheath I head off to Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park to search for dragonflies and to see the Common Terns which nest here.

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As I approach the moat I can hear Reed Warbler singing in the reed-bed. The first damselflies seen are Red-eyed, easily identified by their prominent red eyes which can often be seen with the naked eye.

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There are also Blue damselflies present. The majority seem to be Azure damselfly but I am sure that I have seen one Common Blue Damselfly (confirmed when I got home as I have a picture of one).

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

I cannot find any Blue-tailed damselflies on the moat, although I understand that they have been reported this week. Moving inside the reserve I make my way to the hides to look at the nesting Common Terns. This is the only local nesting colony and I count 4 or 5 nests with birds still sitting on eggs and 3 groups of young, who are already quite a size.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern chick

Common Tern chick

A Grey Wagtail flies onto one of the Tern rafts and Goldfinches are calling from the trees.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

As I am leaving the Ecology Park, I catch a brief glimpse of a bird flying into the trees. I don’t see much of it except a white rump and a black tail. I think it must be a Bullfinch, a species I have not recorded locally before. But despite searching for it I am unable to re-locate it.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)
Unidentified Blue butterfly species (Holly or Common)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

Common Tern

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:
Common Tern

Common Tern

A summer visitor to the UK, the Common Tern as its name suggests is the commonest of the Tern species found in the UK. It breeds on coastal shores and rocky islands, but also increasingly on inland lakes and reservoirs where artificial islands are often provided for this purpose. It is estimated that there are approx 12,000 breeding pairs in the UK,

Common Tern

Common Tern

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Common Tern

Common Tern

Common tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Common Tern feeding chick

Common Tern feeding chick

Pied Avovet

Pied Avovet

The Washington reserve is a group of lakes and woodland located in the River Wear valley between Gateshead and Sunderland in the North East of England.

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Arriving at the reserve I first made my way to the woodland where I am treated to excellent views of Bullfinch and Nuthatch at the feeding station.

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

From here I moved onto the saline scrape but apart from a few gulls and an Osytercatcher there is little see.

DSCN7064a

After Lunch I walked along the side of the main lake which runs alongside the river. My first stop gives me excellent views of a Snipe and two Little Ringed Plovers.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Further along the lake I found a group of Common Tern; a party of Redshank; a Black-Tailed Godwit and a group of Avocets.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Avocets

Avocets

An excellent days birdwatching

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Common Terns

Posted: July 8, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

DSCN2913a

The Common Tern is a summer visitor to the UK, which is present from April to September. It breeds along the coast and on inland bodies of water in most of the UK although it is almost absent from SW England. It nesting success has been increased by the provision of breeding rafts covered in shingle which mimic small shingle covered islands. It is estimated that the UK breeding population is around 12000 pairs. The Common Tern is a long-distance migrant and winters along the coasts of the South Hemisphere in S. Africa, S. America and Australia.

All these pictures were taken at Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park, one of 2 breeding sites in SE London.

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Despite a brief shower when we got back from the Tarn the weather improved again and so I decided to go off to visit another of our local dragonfly spots – Greenwich Pennisular Ecology Park. This is a really good spot to see Red-eyed Damselfly, a local species found only in Southern England.

DSCN2929a

On arrival at the park, i first checked out the ‘moat which seperates the park from the surrounding land. This is usually a good spot for dragonflies who perch on the lilys and the vegetation. I was not disappinted as I had soon seen 4 species of damselfly – Red-Eyed; Blue-Tailed; Common Blue and Azure.

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

On entering the park I went to check up on the nesting Common Terns. There appear to be 3 nests and one had 2 chicks in it and I was fortunate to see one adult return with fish and feed it to the youngster.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern feeding chick

Common Tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Overall a very good day

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)