4/14/16 – Orange County Caspian Tern!

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~Wow! Caspian Tern at Washington Lake this afternoon, 4/14/16.~

I figured it might be some good birding news when I saw that John Haas was calling me this afternoon on the way home. I was right, Ken McDermott had located a CASPIAN TERN at Washington Lake! A quick change of plans and I was on my way. When I arrived the bird was along the shore with 28 Ring-billed Gulls (which were pestering the tern from time to time). I got good looks at the bird in Ken and Bruce Nott’s scopes, and then took some photos. At one point, all the birds took flight for a short spin as a Bald Eagle flew over, but then they settled down again. It wasn’t until a fisherman walked right by the birds that they flushed and did not return to the shore. We kept our eye on the bird for a good while as it flew around the lake; the gulls kept it on the run, and then right before 6 0’clock, the bird headed northeast and did not return that we saw. I think the bird was at the lake for just under 3 hours, but many birders ran for it and were able to get a good look. Other notable birds present included: Bonaparte’s Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, and a Broad-winged Hawk that Scott Baldinger had but that I never picked up because I was trying to stay on the tern.

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~Caspian Tern in flight, Washington Lake 4/14/16.~
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~A young Ring-billed Gull nips at the wing of the Caspian Tern, Washington Lake 4/14/16.~
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~Later on, in the black dirt, a Northern Harrier caught my eye.~

10 thoughts on “4/14/16 – Orange County Caspian Tern!”

    1. I don’t know Maha – the Mearns group email does not seem to be very active these days in regards to reporting, but I’m not sure why. Matt

  1. Great photos of this beautiful bird, Matt! It was nice to see you again, especially under such wonderful circumstances. Is especially like the photo of the RBGU nipping at the Caspian Tern’s wingtip.

  2. Hi Mat! Sounds like a great week end! Mearns went to Weed Road off 207, Saturday. It turned into a hike of 6 1/2 miles!!!! Not to birdy either. Many field sparrows. Also chipping & tree. Towhee. (FOS for me). One Palm warbler. Loon in flight. Some Broad wing hawks. A few other birds. Nice day but way to long a walk! Lol. See you around! lisa

    1. I had to look up and see where Weed Road is…I guess there is a trail there? I had loads of field sparrows at all locations over the weekend too, it must have been great to see the loon in flight. See you out there! Matt

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