BIRD 5

Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

Here is a very pale and el­e­gant-look­ing tern with a dark bill and long tail, pro­duc­ing a sort of ex­treme ‘Com­mic’ tern look. Of the reg­u­lar British terns, only the Sand­wich Tern and the Roseate Tern look as ghostly white as this bird. But those tail stream­ers and the dark tip to the bill rule out the for­mer. So, this bird is al­ready look­ing good for the lat­ter species. But do the rest of the fea­tures back up this ID? The all dark bill is a strong fea­ture of spring Roseate Tern, which usu­ally de­vel­ops a red base as sum­mer pro­gresses. There is a small amount of the right up­per­wing show­ing, which dis­plays the con­trast­ing nar­row dark pri­mary wedge of Roseate Tern. The tail stream­ers are even longer than on Arc­tic Tern. This is a clas­sic spring Roseate Tern.

KEY FEA­TURES †Very pale al­most ghostly white tern †Very long, loose tail stream­ers †Nearly wholly black bill

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