When the Gull-billed Tern disappeared off to the south on Tuesday evening, my assumption was that was it. Over the past few years, Wader Pit has a fine track record of producing good birds, but a shocking track record of holding on to them. So it was a nice surprise to check on Wednesday lunchtime and find the bird back roosting on the eastern shore. It went on to linger throughout Thursday as well, but with no sign on Friday and Saturday, evidently decided that three days at Baston was plenty.
I'm particularly pleased I decided to spend some time on Thursday actually sitting back and just watching the bird without any sense of stress or rush, which is something many of us photo-hungry birders often forget to do these days. When confronted by a rarity, the adrenaline levels are high and there's always an air of freneticism as you try to better your views and photos. With some nice flight images in the bag, it was good to sit back and watch the bird do its thing, catching dragonflies and resting. At times it was interesting to note just how 'heavy' this bird appeared, being quite robust and thickset, and powerful yet languid in flight – reminiscent of Caspian Tern in many respects. Class.
The musings of a wildlife enthusiast, usually armed with his camera.