I've spent much of this weekend perched on the dunes at Druridge scanning the sea, trying to add a very special tern tot he patch list.
I have seen the bridled tern, that terned (geddit!) up on Inner Farne last Monday. I was on a 6am boat on Tuesday morning to see it. But as soon as it re-located to Druridge Bay, there was a really possibility that I could get it on the patch.
Dave Elliott did. Jamming it from the dunes at Druridge. I've not been as lucky and despite over 15 hours of searching it has eluded me.
Looking for a single bird in miles of sea, on your own with no help, is always going to be tricky. I did see some nice birds whilst I searched for the rarity including; stacks of manx shearwaters, double figures of red-throated diver, four or five Arctic skuas, three drake velvet scoters (tonight), great-crested grebe, several roseate terns and also tonight, two adult summer plumaged little gulls flying north.
Also tonight a minke whale moved south through the bay (thanks to Dave Dack for the tip-off). The tern could still be around (last seen today at Cresswell Pond at 15:20) so there's still a chance.
We also did some ringing this morning. it was perfect ringing conditions this morning. Barely any wind and overcast for much of the morning. Ringing was dominated by juvenile warblers, which is great. We caught 27 new birds and three retraps which is excellent for July.