Topics

Black Tern continues at Hayward Regional Shoreline

Bill Clark
 

The Black Tern, reported since around May 7th and seen daily by Bob Richmond, continues at Hayward Regional Shoreline. It has a black body and head, with gray wings, helping it stand out from the Forster's and Least Terns.

Despite been reported daily, this is NOT an easy bird to find.
From the Interpretive Center (off Hwy 92), walk north about 1.2 miles, then right at an intersection for 0.1 miles to the Least Tern sign. There's a barrier there to prevent people from disturbing the nesting birds. Do not cross the barrier.
From that vantage point, looking south-east, about 200 yds away is a long island covered with white shells or rocks. This island is home to about 30 Black Skimmers. Those are really cool birds, but right now, they are a distraction.
Just beyond that island, is a small muddy unremarkable island in the middle of the pond. This island has terns. Unfortunately, between the distance, the heat shimmer, and your shivers from the cold and fog, you can't make out any of the terns. If you wait long enough, they take flight. After 30 minutes of waiting, a Black Tern took off, hovered tantalizingly, and then flew behind the damn island. After another 30 minutes of shivering, he took off again... a gust caught him, and he flew 5-6 ft above the island, and I was able to get a picture. Note, I went at 6:30am in hopes that the cold would prevent heat shimmer and enable better pics.
Here's a pic, with a bunch of Skimmers in the foreground.
https://flic.kr/p/2g3J3FJ

Bill Clark
Livermore, CA