I photographed a tern in June – but which one is it?
QI took some photos of a tern on 25 June at Titchfield Haven, Hampshire. It has been reported as an Arctic Tern, but some people doubt that it is. What do you think? Phil Giles
AMany birdwatchers were brought up with the notion that you tell Arctic from Common Terns by their wholly red, not black-tipped bills. We suspect that is what has happened here. The adult tern looks to have a wholly red bill, so some have suggested it must be an Arctic. However, that bill looks too long for an Arctic Tern’s, and too orange-red, rather than blood red. So, it looks like a Common Tern, but with a reduced amount of black in the bill tip. This would make sense, also, as Arctic Terns are more northerly breeders, only reaching as far south as North Wales in their breeding range.