Tuesday 13 June 2017

Elegant Tern....... At Church Norton.

Little Tern fishing.

Yesterday morning the 12th June i left home at 2.45am and headed to Church Norton in the hope of seeing the recently found Elegant Tern .

An uneventful journey saw me parking near the Church at approx 5am , i made my way around to the area which overlooked  'Tern Island' and joined approx 20 other mad souls , i was informed the Elegant Tern had been seen a couple of times already and even landed on one of the sand spits briefly, ( damn i knew i should have left home earlier....).

Little Tern.

The encouraging thing was the Elegant Tern hadn't flew out to sea for a fishing foray yet so my hopes were still high , there were lots of Little Terns feeding which was really great to see plus 100+  Med Gulls  were showing well.

Med Gulls.

Then someone picked out the Elegant Tern over Tern Island and as luck would have it i got onto it straight away and had fantastic views through my scope  , i never attempted a photo as i wanted to see the birds main id features plus it was quite distant , it flew around the island for awhile before flying along the sea wall south west and then went out to sea.

 This is the first new species i have seen in the UK this year.

The ring combination on this Elegant Tern has identified it as 'bird C' from Banc d'Arguin, Gironde, France, an adult male which was first seen on the reserve in 2002. It has returned almost every year since then, breeding with a Sandwich Tern on numerous occasions at both this site and in the Noirmoutier colony. Recent DNA analysis has confirmed that this bird and two other orange-billed terns breeding in France and Spain are all pure Elegant Terns.

Information supplied by Rare Bird Alert.

I was also surprised to see 2ad Peregrine Falcons with 2 chicks near Tern Island , i know they ground nest in the Tundra but was quite surprised to them ground nesting here. 

Many thanks to Rare Bird Alert for the use of their information regarding the Elegant Tern.

Ground nesting Peregrines.


  1. Great spots there! THe peregrines look fierce in that last shot.

    1. Many thanks Simon , i was really pleased to the Peregrines.


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