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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Forsters Tern at Mistley

On Saturday 19th November, receiving a lift from Rob Wil, Ricky Rob and I arrived at Mistly Quay in Essex and the weather had been kind to us. The anticipated high winds and heavy rain hadn't occurred, instead we had had the odd light shower. We arrived and the bird hadn't been seen. We decided to look further down the road at Wrab Point we walked left along a fore shore and further along were wooden "beach style" huts and we saw a great deal of birds including 33 and 23 groups of Red- breasted Mergansers (female outnumbering males 4 to 1) There were Black- tailed Godwits c30 and groups of around 50 Dunlin and 3 Bar- tailed Godwits on shore close in. We counted around 17 GC Grebes out on the estuary but couldn't see any rarer Grebes or sea duck amongst them. We went back to the Quay and a chap had a call saying the bird had been seen further east, we drove down to an area by a railway line and walked north to the estuary and along the shore we could see the excellent Forster's Tern flying west slowly. It showed a black smudge around the eye area, a black bill and black wedge on the primaries. It was fishing around the buoy and we had good views of the bird, but it was always too far away to photograph. It eventually flew west. Walking back, we saw a visibly distressed regular Correspondent who cheered up when he spotted it himself later on. Back at the Quay, the bird was around the far western end but it suddenly flew past reasonably close but flew east at break neck speed again too quick for me to photo. At the Quay itself we saw it fly west again, on the far side of the bank, which was Suffolk proper and a very welcome addition to my Suffolk list.

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