Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Roseate Tern, Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire

Roseate tern 1 adult
Little tern 5
Arctic tern 50
Sandwich tern 50
Common terns
Knot 30
Eider 300

Year: 270 (Roseate tern)

The majority of the day was spent in pouring rain on the midge infested moors of Aberdeenshire, so it was with much relief that after work I headed up to the Ythan estuary just north of Aberdeen, almost as if an attempt to cleanse myself of the discomfort I had experienced earlier in the day. It worked, the evening sunshine lit up the sands and it was a beautiful end to the day.

This may be called an estuary, but a saltmarsh it isn't, in fact the river enters the sea through a dune system, and it's a very beautiful place. I knew that a roseate tern had been reported yesterday, but I didn't really expect to see it, so it was with some surprise that we picked it up almost immediately on the far side of the estuary sitting amongst a nice selection of commoner terns. Then, just as the sun started to break through, it flew towards us and landed on a sand bank at fairly close range. A beautiful adult.

Like quail last Sunday, this was a species I thought I'd missed for the year, so it was good to get it, almost at the last minute. A real unexpected bonus. No sign of the regular king eider which frequents this spot, but I've already seen one this year, and who wants to see an eclipse king eider anyway???

Common tern (left), roseate tern (second left) and Sandwich tern (right).

Grey seals.

Rainbow over the Ythan.

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