16 Aug 2023

16 Aug 23 - Brownsea's Boomerang Tern

I volunteer on the DWT Brownsea reserve on Wednesdays. This is public engagement day with slots where the volunteers man the DWT gazebo at the entrance to the reserve, as well as, the video scope in the Avocet Hide. In between we keep an eye on the reserve and also get a bit of free time to check out the Tern Hide. By mid-August the Sandwich Terns were past breeding, but they were still congregating on an island to the left of the Spoonbill Tamarisk. I popped into the hide about 11:00 to have a quick look before my slot started at the gazebo. There was a good selection of Sandwich Terns on the island. On the first scan, there was no sign of the Forster's Tern which had recently reappeared in Poole Harbour after disappearing off East in May 23. It's actual departure date seems uncertain as some of the last sightings were of a mis-identified first summer Sandwich Tern.
Forster's Tern: Just like a boomerang, it's back on Brownsea after its Summer of travelling
I doubt any of the local Birders were surprised when Lytchett Bay Birder, Shaun Robson, refound the Forster's Tern in the bay on 15 Jul 23. It was elusive over the next week, but then it was pinned down to roosting with the Sandwich Terns and Common Terns in a roost that was visible from Shipstal on the RSPB Arne. Most of the late Summer & Autumn sights were from Shipstal, but occasionally it has dropped onto Brownsea, with the first sighting of the Autumn on 15 Aug 23, when it was seen from the Birds of Poole Harbour Bird Boat. On my second scan of the Terns, one of the Sandwich Terns must have moved and it revealed the Forster's Tern was standing among the flock. It was still there when I left at 11:25 to head down to the gazebo, but I didn't see it again when I looked in the early afternoon. Soon after it was seen again from Shipstal.
Forster's Tern: A close crop from the last photo
Now I just need to see it on my Studland Patch.