Sightings and Photos

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Jan 18th Hen Harrier Gramp's Hill...2 Whooper Swans Stadhampton...Caspian Gull Port Meadow...12th Whooper Swan 2 nr Dorchester...10th Black Redstart Harwell...9th Slavonian Grebe Farmoor Res...1st Siberian Chiffchaff Abingdon Sewage Works...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Whiskered Tern

There have to date only been two Whiskered Terns recorded in the county. The first was a five day stayer at Standlake in 1970 though back then it was part of Berkshire. The second record, found on Friday 25th April 2014 at Otmoor, was therefore to all intents and purposes a county first. It was first seen at about 2pm by a chap called Paul Thomas at the first screen at Otmoor RSPB but he at the time he had just thought that it was a colourful Common Tern. He did mention it to RSPB staff Zoe Edwards and Adam Reid who went to check it out at 16:30. They then came back to the office with their photos and checked with the field guide before calling the warden Joe Harris who went to check it out. He then called Peter Barker and Ian Lewington with whom he discussed the ID before the official news went out at 6pm. There then followed a mad scramble by many of the county birders to get down to see it before it got dark. Some fourteen county birders connected before it flew off high to the north about an hour before dark. Two birders who had just missed it stayed on and they reported that it returned at last light and looked like it was going to roost. Quite a crowd of birders were there at dawn the next day though sadly there was no sign of it.

Local blog write-ups can be found on Black Audi Birding & Gnome's Birding Diary

Some great photos of the Whiskered Tern (c) Terry Sherlock

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