Monday 15 June 2015

The Common Tern over the Pond

Today has been a glorious day, bright, sunny, and with the wind quietened down again it was a good opportunity to head around town and see what would be about.

 Certainly plenty of bees were in evidence. For a start I now have TWO tree bumblebee nests in the eaves of my flat, one in the corner, one over the font door. So glad about this, but sadly plenty of other folk here would be having kittens about having these harmless creatures move in.

My friend's foxgloves were also irresistible, but not to tree bumbles, who don't like feeding off deep belled flowers for some reason. No, it was buff tail and white tailed bumblebees enjoying the nectar from the pretty white, purple and pink plants.

 There was action on London Road pond too. Coots and grebes were showing off their little ones, and the family of canada geese were having a good old hiss and peck at any mallard that got too close to the rapidly growing goslings. But the best sight of all was above the water rather than on it.

It was the first common tern of the year in Newark putting on a show, quartering the water, occasionally offering to do a spectacular dive but always thinking against it before resuming its search, its deeply forked tail demonstrating its "sea swallow" nickname as it used it to expertly steer in the air.

 Such a recognisable bird, its flight is so different from a black headed gull, much slimmer in profile and also having the "pulling from the shoulder" sort of wing beat a swallow has.

 I was immediately reminded of the 10 year old me, watching my first tern on a school field trip to Hunstanton, being passed the binoculars of a birdwatching teacher. That trip I found a nest of ringed plover chicks, saw fulmars on the iron red striped cliffs, and found the body of a razorbill I carried back to "Le Strange" Hotel.

 Best school trip ever.


  All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 15.06.15

Sad woodpigeon with injured wing

Buzzy ceonothus today

Cross goose family

Love this stuff but no idea what it is

Coloured doors

Tree bumble at work

These tinfy flowers were very attractive to the bees

White / buff tail working too

Lovely view of a tree bumblebee

Boat looks like a happy Egyptian whale shark

In a wild planter by the locks

Native ladybird with tiny spots


  1. Lovely to see so many bees Simon.
    Sadly a neighbour of my daughters sprayed and killed the bees nesting near their home. Bumbles are so misunderstood.

    Mystery flower....I love it to. I wonder if it is some sort of campion??

  2. Have come to love bees even more this year so nice to see you enjoy them so much, the Tree Bumble bee nest is doing well in the roof, because the back door is open we have them in the house daily, think we could do with sugar water on tap at the moment...
    The flower does look a little like White Campion, you will have to look it up and see what you think.

    Amanda xx

  3. Looking forward to some more Tree Bumblebee photos, glad to see you back on "terra firma"

  4. Lovely post Simon - great news too about the Tree Bumble nests. Our neighbours were horrified by ours and I had to go to great lengths to explain how harmless they are etc. etc. :(

    Your white flower may be Bladder Campion?? Google it and see what you think.

  5. Bladder Camption indeed thanks Ragged Robin! I thought the flowers were very campion like, thought there were only such things as red and white campion though. Luckily rubbish botanists like me have clever people to correct them.

    Thanks for your appreciation, my friends!