Tern on in a storm

Once again the weather played a big part in observations over the weekend, but rather than washing out all the fun, it played a helping hand. A prolonged thunderstorm early on Saturday afternoon provided perfect conditions for the arrival of new birds.

With the weather passing and continuing to move ENE, Doug Fairweather, Richard Hampshire and myself found ourselves overlooking D reservoir at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire around 3.35pm in hope rather than expectation.

Cue a rather big surprise when I picked out a large tern flying around the north end of the reservoir in poor light several minutes later.

Having ‘thought it’ for 20 minutes or so, once it came closer, it became obvious the bird was Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica and news was passed on just after 4pm.

Here are a selection of record pictures taken by myself, and some much better ones taken by Richard Hampshire.

GullbilledTern1TLNRAug2012

GullbilledTernTLNRAUG20122

gull-billed-tern1

gull-billed-tern-2

The bird was last seen flying north up the reservoir, and is thought to have left east with the gulls as there was no further sign after 4.35pm.

This certainly wasn’t one of the predicted species expected to be seen on a wet afternoon at Tophill Low!

More pictures can be seen on the official Tophill Low Blog

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