As we get into September, migration really starts to pick up speed. Today, I was out in the visitor centre when somebody came in reporting an unusual tern, dark and smallish tern. At this time of year, and with the wind blowing in an Easterly direction this probably means a "marsh tern". The marsh terns as they are collectively known refer to three species seen in Britain each year: Black tern, white winged black tern and whiskered tern.
None of these birds currently nest in Britain (black terns used to), but they pass through during May and from July-September. They are told by their elegant, acrobatic flight and are sometimes nicknamed "sea swallows because of this. Anyhow, despite the best efforts from site staff, this bird was not re-located so it could be identified. Therefore, it will become just another "one that got away!"
There have been quite a few good birds of prey sightings recently. There seem to be at least eight hobbies hunting over the reserve at the moment. This may seem insignificant when compared with the sixty five counted over the reserve on May 1st but it still provides a great spectacle. There are currently large numbers of common darters on the reserve so there is plenty for the hobbies to eat!
Buzzards are becoming an increasingly common sight in the area as well. There were two hunting over the West Wood on Monday 6th and may have even been interacting with the Harris hawk that is still at large on the reserve. Any sightings of red kites on the reserve are unusual. However, there have been two reports in the last week. On September 5th & September 7th, an individual was seen from Joist Fen viewpoint. This could have been the same bird or two separate individuals. It certainly would be good to see them more regularly in this neck of the woods!