This is no Farmoor, Otmoor or Port Meadow. This is Grimsbury. It's Grim up north!

There is a running total year list in the link above.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

12th May 2015: Little Tern and Arctic Tern!

I had been keeping an eye on the weather for today and the combination of birds on migration, reasonably strong wind and rain showers looked like it could deliver something interesting. I got to the reservoir for about 06:40 just as the rain started.

To begin with it looked like I had got it all completely wrong, it was dead. A few Swallows flew through and then about seven Sand Martins dropped in. As I was trying to count them from the opposite bank (I was on the east bank and they were near the west bank) another bird dropped in the join them. With the naked eye I could see it was a tern but it looked small... I raised my binoculars to look at it and it was a LITTLE TERN! I got my phone out to call John as he mentioned yesterday he may visit in the morning. Stumbling through an answer phone message to relay the news I could see it was already climbing and by the time I put the phone down it was already flying away north west. So it was barely there for two minutes and I am really annoyed at myself for reaching for the phone and not the camera, next time I will be more selfish (sorry John!). As far as I know that is only the third record of Little Tern at Grimsbury (and my first) with one in May 1966 and one in April 2008. Several more Sand Martins and Swallows came and went and a few Swifts went through. Other than that though there was very little going on.

The excitement of the day was not yet over though. John called me at lunch time to say there was now an Arctic Tern at the reservoir. It is a species I thought we would miss out on this year as most have passed through already. So I rushed up there and just saw it before it left to the north.

Courtesy and copyright of John Friendship-Taylor
In the woodland I saw my first Large Red Damselfly of the year for here. Also two Orange Tips, a Green Veined White, a Fourteen Spot Ladybird (I think) and a Cardinal Beetle.

Courtesy and copyright of John Friendship-Taylor

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