What is it about Eglwys Nunydd and rare birds at the moment? After the Grey Phalarope and the Bobolink earlier in the week I was back there once again yesterday morning looking for a juvenile Whiskered Tern that had been found the previous evening. Initially we couldn’t spot it so decided on a walk around the whole reservoir which is surprisingly attractive and pleasant given the areas recent industrial heritage. The usual rafts of Tufted Duck, Pochard and Great Crested Grebe were out on the water while the woodland held a couple of Jays and a flock of twenty or so Long Tailed Tits. It wasn’t until we were half way round that we got our first view of the Tern on the opposite side of the reservoir (obviously). We pushed on and were eventually treated to a relatively close display of fishing behaviour which showed off the juveniles markings perfectly. I feel we were fortunate to get the views that we did as its flight was very wide ranging covering much of the reservoir. A cracking bird and my second species of marsh tern this autumn. Photography wise I only managed the poor shot below but it’s still a lot better than the one of my previous Whiskered Tern at Kenfig taken over a year ago.
The afternoon was spent mostly at Kidwelly Quay over in Carmarthenshire. Although the tide was low the river banks held 3 Greenshank, 1 Bar Tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 3 Curlew, 100+ Redshank and a Grey Wagtail. Although not a haul as exotic as some of the recent birds I have seen, in some ways these were more satisfying to me personally. Firstly they were all self found which is always an added bonus. Secondly the Bar Tailed Godwit is remarkably the first that I have seen this year as for some reason I just never seem to connect with them despite the success that others have. Thirdly Greenshank’s are one of my favourite waders and one individual in particular at Kidwelly was an absolute stunner. It spent a long while just strutting up and down in the mud opposite us catching the sun perfectly as it probed the ground as it went. I can’t deny that I like the excitement of a rarity but it will never overtake my joy for seeing the more common species. Hell, I just spent half an hour watching the Collared Dove in the back garden!