I’m a big proponent for making the most of any time we have to spend with nature and the best way of doing that is to chose accommodation with as close a connection to the great outdoors as possible. Ideally that would mean that we’d be camping every weekend but alas the British weather often has other ideas, as do our families. Even so the alternatives are numerous and careful selection has seen us range from a wooden cabin in Conwy Valley right through to gorgeous stone stables in the Peak District. Somewhere in between though sits the static caravan, a blight on our coastal areas for sure but also a more climatically safe choice when compared to a few nights under canvas. Such logic was the reason we found ourselves at Costwold Hoburne, a large site surrounded by lakes and just as importantly within easy reach of Fairford (oh yes more aircraft coming your way tomorrow). Mallards wander freely between the caravans, Mute Swans raise their families within view of chipboard heaven and, best of all, this year we were also treated to superb views of Common Terns. I spotted the first soon after we’d arrived and from then on they were an almost constant presence fishing around the entire park. On Saturday evening I decided to see if we could get a little closer and within ear shot of that nights entertainment managed to take the following photo.

P1140346_2 - Common Tern, Cotswold Water Park

To say I’m pretty pleased with this would be an understatement. It was the only frame I took, just before we lost the light, and I don’t think I could really have done any better given my equipment. 

Also present were a small flock of Canada Geese, one of which was carrying a rather prominent neck ring. Trying to read the letters themselves proved somewhat difficult with the bird seeming to know just which way to sit in order to completely obscure my view. Eventually my perseverance paid off though and I had great expectations about what life story I might uncover.

P1140344 - Ringed Canada Goose, Cotswold Water Park

A quick internet search soon uncovered what I was after but alas the history of this goose was not as exciting as I had hoped for. It turns out that it was ringed as part of a Canada Goose research project in Cotswold Water Park a couple of years ago, meaning that it really hasn’t travelled far at all. Still an interesting sighting nonetheless and I’ll be submitting this record to further the research efforts.


Caroline Gill · July 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Superb shot, Adam, of the Common Tern. We saw quite a few Arctic ones in Scotland this year (though the closest we got to Mull, alas, was seeing the CalMac ferries on strike in Oban). What a huge 'ring' for the goose. I have only ever seen one of this nature (not far from Bury St Edmunds). Science is very important/crucial, but I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to go about with all the intrusive – and sometimes large, cumbersome or heavy – bling (e.g. the adders with satellite tagging at Minsmere on Springwatch).

Pat Ulrich · July 29, 2015 at 2:28 am

Really nice shot of the tern with its wing-tips in motion!

eileeninmd · July 29, 2015 at 11:31 am

Wow, the tern shot is awesome. Is it just me or does that ring look too tight on the goose. Sorry there was not an exciting story on the ring. Great post, enjoy your day!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure · July 29, 2015 at 4:06 pm

that Tern flight shots is marvellous

Mary Howell Cromer · July 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Interesting about the goose and a very nice selections shared~

Stewart M · July 30, 2015 at 9:20 am

Nice Tern shot – always get excited when I take a ringed bird out of the net – but most of them turn out to be ones we have ringed (banded as they would say here) ourselves – but you never can tell!

Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

A Colorful World · July 31, 2015 at 3:54 am

Gorgeous tern!

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