Our last tern should not be too tricky to identify, should it? The fact that much of the bird is in shadow does mean the number of features on show is somewhat limited. However, the immediate impression is that this is a sea tern (not a marsh tern) and that the limited amount of upper wing is pale. Most striking is the long, thick yet pointed black bill with an obvious bright yellow tip. This feature in itself ought to be enough to guide you to the right conclusion, as it is unique among our terns. The tail is also a good clue, being on the short side, giving a front heavy appearance to the bird. The combination of short-tail, front-heavy structure, pale plumage and long black bill with a yellow tip must surely lead to the conclusion that this can only be a Sandwich Tern.
KEY FEATURES Pale wings Relatively large head and short tail Long bill is black with a yellow tip