Friday, 26 August 2016

Irish interlude - Royally chuffed

Yesterday, Thursday 25th August, was spent in County Kerry. News of a Royal Tern last week in County Mayo made me sweat, but I wasn't able to go straight away what with just getting back from Namibia and A Level results day at school. Anyhow the bird had flown, and so it allowed me one less Royal Tern dip compared to the guys that went out there last week. Roll on exactly a week and the Kerry tern legend Davey Farrar was visiting Beale Strand - as he does regularly - and had one of those heart stopping moments. Having already found an Elegant a few years ago, having a big orange bill pop out wasn't perhaps as big a surprise for him though! Anyway, I was unable to go on Wednesday day so flew out late that night and was on site for dawn Thursday... just me and four Irish birders. A quick check of the point revealed little, and so I headed east to the next car park near Astee. And there, hobbling about in among the Sandwich Terns, was a whopping Royal Tern: -
Royal Tern Beale Strand, Kerry 25th August 2016
It really was a massive bird, and at one point in time as it flew over it actually spooked all the other terns for some reason. With a gammy leg and full black cap, this Royal Tern was the same as that in Mayo a week ago and lays to rest a species I've chased three times unsuccessfully in the past.
Royal Tern Beale Strand, Kerry 25th August 2016
I had a brief trip to Black Rock during the day too, where three juvenile Curlew Sandpipers and a couple of flag ringed Sanderling (from Greenland/Iceland - awaiting results) were nice to see. So all in all a very enjoyable day out of London!

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