Gull-billed Tern at Old Moor RSPB

17 Jun

16/6/15 Early Tuesday morning a Gull-billed Tern was seen briefly on the Wader Scrape at Old Moor RSPB. I was at work so nothing I could do about it until mid afternoon. Texted RL anyway to be ready if seen again. Not long after I got home the tern was reported briefly again “early afternoon” then again a little later. Contacted RL again and awaited his arrival but he then texted to say he couldn’t make it as he had a gig in the evening. Due to wrist problems and generally not feeling up to it I decided against getting the bike out. For some reason I didn’t make any effort to get a lift from a friend maybe due to it’s erratic behaviour similar to Nottingham 5 days ago when a bird was seen briefly at Idle Valley NR but didn’t linger. The closeness in both time and distance makes the possibly of the same bird a likelihood but where was it in between times? Apart from a unconfirmed sighting late afternoon at Adwick Washland RSPB there was no further sightings by early evening, however at 17.35 it returned to Old Moor RSPB Wader Scrape and seemed settled for the evening. About two hours later RL texted to say he’d been mistaken and the gig was tomorrow. I immediately rang to say basically “get your arse round here, it’s hanging around and we’ll make it easily before dark.” This he did despite also feeling off colour and [this section retracted to avoid the attention of the law]. Fortunately I had photographed the direction from my “Maps” app as the last few miles can be difficult with out local knowledge. Also a cheaper, and less annoying, than a satnav [JH’s at least?].

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“How to get there”

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The rest of the message was “then flew toward Bolton Ings”.

It did fly off at one point but only briefly and on arrival had the repeat message “it’s asleep” on the scrape from returning birders. Despite the odd panic, relieved by birders heading the other way we made it the the hide and quickly got views through someones ‘scope. Now we could relax we set about getting some pictures although it was a bit distant and the light was going.

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Gull-billed Tern with Black-headed Gulls-Old Moor RSPB-Wader Scrape

Thought we would be the “Johnnies come lately” but several East Yorkshire birders were still on site. Amazingly it was reported still at 22.30, two hours after we left. Modern ‘scopes are truly amazing?!

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Avocet and chick-Old Moor RSPB-Wader Scrape

A bit of a bogey bird, one was on Thorne Moors on the evening of 30th May 2012 but there was also a Black-winged Stilt at Fairburn Ings RSPB which was also a Yorkshire tick so I went for that first then met RL at Goole. We set off for a very long walk fortunately to be turned back on news the tern had flown. A few who had gone for it on first new connected though. To make thing worse the Stilt lingered, the tern was never seen again. Then came the infamous Tophill Low NR bird on 25th August 2012 which showed to a select few after a heavy shower but didn’t hang around [see here and here]. It’s almost 20 years since my last, and only British, Gull-billed Tern at Seaforth NR,Liverpool Freeport on 30th July 1995 and likely a lot longer for RL, although we’ve both seen them abroad since [Spain and USA].
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Not seen today.

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3 Responses to “Gull-billed Tern at Old Moor RSPB”

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