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Tern up for the books

Thursday 12th September

Tern up for the books

The arrival of a rare white-winged black tern has caused real excitement at Attenborough Nature Reserve in the past few days.

The bird was first spotted last Thursday (5th September) and once its identification had been confirmed, birdwatchers flocked to the reserve in significant numbers to catch a glimpse.

A bird which breeds in the far east of Europe, Central Asia and East Africa and spends its winters in southern Africa, South Asia and as far away as Australia, the species is a rare visitor to the UK. We suspect that this individual has probably been blown off its migration course and ended up here.

Over 750

Despite the rain on Friday, over 100 people came to see the bird, with numbers increasing as the tern remained on the reserve - we estimate that so far, around 750 people have visited with the intention of seeing such an interesting and rare bird. We’ve had a few other rarities passing through recently including a great white egret - but the white-winged black tern tops the lot!

The tern has not been spotted recently, but there is still a possibility it remains at the reserve.

A sign that migration has begun

With so many avid bird watchers at Attenborough in the past few days we’ve also had sightings of other rarities such as marsh harrier and osprey flying overhead - highlighting that the autumn migration is well underway. The sightings of these birds underlines just how exciting this time of year can be on wetland nature reserves such as Attenborough and we’d urge people to pick up their binoculars or telescope and to head out into the Trent Valley to see what they can spot.

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