The expected weather came in overnight and we woke from our death-like slumber to reports of Kittiwakes, Arctic Terns and Sanderlings festooning Cambridgeshire and littering our smartphones. Even more impressive, Grafham Water-regular Colin Addington had watched a Bonxie cruise down the reservoir and off northeast! A great spring record for the site and anywhere inland, for that matter.
Post-breakfast, Mark and I headed south to my old (and Mark's continuing) patch of Grafham Water. A Sanderling which had been present on the dam had flown off, but two Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover were feeding along the water's edge. We went down to the west end and Mark immediately picked up a drake Goldeneye over in Dudney Creek. This brought wry smiles as we had missed this species yesterday. Shortly, Mark found another species we'd missed on our Big Day; an Arctic Tern dip-feeding along the sheltered edge of Dudney Creek, flashing silvery white wings even at great distance. This graceful migrant shunned the local Common Terns which cavorted over the reservoir.
We went down to the creek and found not one, but two Arctic Terns resting on the marker floats that cordon-off the creek from fishing boats. Lovely birds and a species I miss from my Grafham days as they are pretty rare in the York area. News of a Bar-tailed Godwit at York, cut short our birding as I was keen to get on the road and gun north, as this was a much-dreamed-of bird missing from my York area list. We heard a Grasshopper Warbler reeling from the otherside of the hedge as we walked back to the car park. It had been a great weekend, seeing some top birds with my old birding mates. Roll on next year, we will have that record!