Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Back in the saddle again...

No doubt about it, 2015 has been a really bad year for the family so far. There seems to have been so many people passing away and we're only in July. I've never know a year like it! The most recent was my father who passed away on 30 June having endured 12 weeks in Musgrove Park Hospital. The funeral was last Friday, it was time to get going again and today presented an ideal opportunity to get 'back in the saddle' in the form of a Gull-billed Tern that's been hanging out on the River Teign in Devon for the past couple of days.

Dave Helliar and I set off just after 9am having heard that it had been seen earlier this morning. It's been frequenting a small stretch of river close to the Passage House Hotel on the outskirts of Kingsteignton near Newton Abbot. We arrived to hear the dreaded news from a fellow birder that 'it was here until a short while ago until it flew off down the river'. The spectre of a dip loomed over us...not a great start. I set up my scope and started scanning as far down the river as I could see when it suddenly flew into view heading straight back towards us.

Sure enough it started performing on a circuit between the hotel and the motorway bridge and boy, did it perform! At times it came too close to focus on and was quite happily feeding, totally un-phased by the gathering crowd of birders, a little beauty and just the tonic I needed. It would occasionally settle on the mud for brief periods but was quite active for most of the time.

Gull-billed Tern: R. Harris
Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
Gull-billed Tern: D. Helliar
Gull-billed Tern: R. Harris
Gull-billed Tern: R. Harris
Gull-billed Tern, Devon

As always, videos were recorded in 1080p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 720p to 1080p options. You can also run full-screen, although I wouldn't recommend that for this particular video!

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