Last night I made a terrible error of judgement and decided to watch another dire, tournament ending performance from England in Euro 2012 with the full knowledge that a Gull-billed Tern was showing just a couple of miles away. If the Italians had managed to put us out of our misery earlier I may still have made it down to Loughor in time, but penalties soon put the nail in that particular coffin. The result today was an anxious seven hours in work with updates coming in that the Tern was still in the area but back where it had originally been seen on Sunday at Penclacwydd. Fortunately my escape coincided nicely with its relocation to the mud just south of Loughor Bridge and I was there quicker than you can say englandarenevergoingtowinaninternationaltournament. I found the Tern almost immediately and was soon joined by Wendell Thomas who I believe is the original finder.

P1010435 - Gull-billed Tern, Loughor Bridge
Gull-billed Tern (bottom left)

It seemed very well settled and I was treated to unbroken views for a good half an hour or more. Only once did it take to the air but it didn’t go far and was soon back on show. In fact I was even able to come home, pick up Emma and show her the bird before it finally seemed to head off west. Definitely a good way to round off a Monday that had little else going for it.

The photo above is taken at some distance and its perhaps worthwhile panning back to show the full scene.

Loughor Bridge

The Gull-billed Tern was ranging on the mud located roughly in the centre rear and seemed unperturbed by the heavy construction in the foreground. The workmen were oblivious and the policeman I spoke to bemused, but at least those in the know were enjoying our rare visitor.


Caroline Gill · June 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Patience rewarded! … and we all like a happy ending.

Bob Bushell · June 26, 2012 at 7:46 am

Well, I had never seen that one, great photos.

Dave · June 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I like you ID patch on the tern image – very cool.

I saw this species on a recent trip to Venezuela, your incredibly lucky to get this so close to home.

Great fisheye feel to the construction image Adam

Nice work


Gillian Olson · June 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Great photo, glad you got to see the tern.

Adam Tilt · June 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Caroline – certainly do!

Bob – thanks Bob.

Dave – they are a real rarity here and the fisheye photo was an added bonus. I didn't even intend for it to come out that way.

Gillian – thank you.

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