Black tern - Shustoke Res.
Spotted Flycatcher - Sutton Park
Redstart - Sutton Park
Monday 31st August 2009
We had decided that rather than spend our money on a B and B in Penzance we would come back on Sky bus and save ourselves several hours so that the drive back would not be so tiring. We also took up the option of breaking the journey in Somerset and staying over night with friends Gail and Ciaran. It would mean of course that the American Black tern would have to hang on for a further day but it would be great to take the opportunity of seeing our friends.
On our last full day on the Scillies the transfer to Sky bus was in doubt as the whole of St Marys was shrouded in sea fog, but thankfully we awoke to clear skies on the Monday and the showers held off while we helped Gill and Nick pack up the camping gear. They were old hands at the camping lark and their organisation was impressive. It would have been nice to see the Citrine wagtail and Spotted Crake at Marazion but we were eager to press on. At Exeter I fell out with my Sat Nav. Ciaran had given me some directions, I thought Honiton was west and not east, the Sat Nav was telling me something else and my pre motorway Road Atlas had the first few pages missing. So after familiarising ourselves with most of Exeter we continued on of journey. After a very pleasant evening we were on our way again next morning. With no wind and clear blue skies I was convinced the Black Tern would have left Farmoor but as we passed Stonehenge a pager message reassured me it was still there.
There were 10 birders at Farmoor when we got there. The 3 terns had just flown on to the Southern part of the Res. so were distant and difficult to watch into the sun from the causeway. I was scopeless so it was very difficult to make out the differences in the 3 small terns. Fortunately they returned to rest on the more sheltered northern portion of the reservoir. They stood close together on small sacks giving excellent views making comparison easy between all 3 'species' - American Black Tern, Black Tern and White winged Black tern.
With birds clearly starting to move it was good to get back and get ready for the Autumn. Plenty of domestic chores to sort out but managed a few hours in Sutton Park (Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher), a dash to Draycote Water (Manx Shearwater and Swift) and a visit to Shustoke (Black Tern) over the following days.