Friday, 5 July 2013

Unbridled relief

Having left Inner Farne behind, we left Seahouses, heading for Cresswell Pond where the Bridled Tern had been seen.  Now with the bird news coming through Twitter on the mobile, you are reliant on a good mobile internet signal, but the Northumbrian coast (well for Vodafone at least) is not an area where good coverage exists, and so we had no idea if the bird would still be present given the last news we had was that it had flown out to sea.  After what seemed like an eternity driving slowly down the coastal route with day-trippers, we arrived in the car park at Cresswell Ponds at 5pm to be greeted with the news that the bird had returned since the last news we had, but had then flown back out to sea.  Knowing we still had a 5 hour drive ahead of us, I begrudgingly gave myself a deadline of 6pm to see the bird.  The minutes whistled by and still there was no sign of the bird and anxious glances at the watch ticked off the quarter-past, half-past and then quarter-to markers and I again resigned myself to defeat.  Then a shout came up from a couple of birders on the dunes who were watching out to sea, and a short dash later and although I didn't have my 'scope with me (the bird had been showing so well on the Farnes I figured I wouldn't need it!) I soon got onto the tern flying just offshore, easily picked out from the surrounding Sandwich Terns by its dark back.  Unfortunately the bird was too distant to bother taking any photos as I had just grabbed the 70-300mm lens rather than my 500mm, but after watching the bird for ten minutes and relieved that I had at least seen the bird that we had come so far to see, the clock ticked to 6pm and we set off on the long drive home.

Bridled Tern
Note, this isn't the actual bird, but one I saw earlier this year in Australia, but had I taken my big lens up to the dunes, this is about the sort of image I would have got!!

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