BIRD 4

Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

Grey un­der­wings We are play­ing mean tricks with you here, throw­ing you a bird which is largely sub­merged in wa­ter, and so only giv­ing a lim­ited num­ber of ID clues. Pos­si­bly it has just plunged to catch a fish, or per­haps it has been pho­tographed mid-bath. What­ever it is up to, there should still be enough on show to give you a de­cent chance of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Firstly, and cru­cially, those un­der­wings are pretty uni­formly grey, which should im­me­di­ately set alarm bells ring­ing: this is not a ‘con­ven­tional’ sea tern, but looks like one of the three marsh terns in the genus Ch­li­do­nias. White-winged Black Tern has very ob­vi­ous con­trast­ing un­der­wing with black wing coverts. Whiskered Tern has strik­ing white cheeks and a red bill. This bird has a black­ish head and bill (just vis­i­ble) with no white or red on show. It is a spring Black Tern.

KEY FEA­TURES †Fairly uni­formly grey un­der­wings †Dark head; bill black †Breast looks dark grey (not easy to see)

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