There have been very few disappointments, if any, these past few weeks. I would normally have focused more on the local patch, but seeing as my patch list for the year doesn't even include Yellowhammer, it was important from a personal point of view to get out and see some good stuff to keep my flagging moral going.
Thankfully, May has been great personally and there's still a few days before it comes to an end. It's hard to pinpoint a highlight, but the three White-winged Black Tern at Staines Reservoir on Tuesday will take some beating.
|One of two adult White-winged Black Tern at Staines Reservoir on Tuesday|
I've only seen one before, and that was a couple of years ago at Wareham in Dorset, so when these beauties were flagged up on the Rare Bird Alert site, and seeing as I was working from home, I found time to head off to Staines in the late afternoon.
|The 1st summer White-winged Black Tern on the south basin|
But it was good to be back at the old place, and also to catch up with birding friends I haven't seen for a while including Matt Phelps, who had had the same idea as me and took a detour after work to see these fantastic birds.
|Adult (below) and 1st summer White-winged Black Tern|
But, as so often happens when a birder begins to question their sanity, a cracking rarity suddenly makes all the pain go away.
And these three White-winged Black Terns, flying predominantly around the south basin, were an exceptional discovery.
|The two adults feeding in among the Common terns and Black-backed Gulls on the north basin|
They all made for a great sight, as often they would fly low over the causeway towards the north basin and back, calling as they went. Views were great as they dived for fish and occasionally perched on a pipe that was jutting out of the water on the south basin.
Another unusual visitor to the reservoir was an Avocet on the west bank of the south basin, but on this occasion it hardly got much attention.
While many aficionados have decried May as not being the month it could have been, I've certainly enjoyed it.