A good tern #2

This post presents a bit of a puzzle. Along with the Caspian Terns spotted recently was this nearby flock of Whiskered Terns. Both species can be found in small numbers at Cairn Curran throughout the year.


Whiskered Terns, Cairn Curran, 7th November 2014.

Whiskered Terns are much smaller than Caspian Terns, but quite similar in size to another closely related species that can be found on inland waterways – the White-winged Black Tern. Non-breeding Whiskered Terns and White-winged Black Terns are very similar in appearance – I’ve never seen the latter at Cairn Curran, although intriguingly there is a recent reliable sighting.


Presumed Whiskered Tern (non-breeding), Cairn Curran, 7th November 2014.

The ‘problematic’ tern was with the breeding plumaged Whiskered Terns, but roosting a few metres away from the main group. I’d be interested in any thoughts that might confirm or deny my identification.


The black-streaked white crown suggests a Whiskered Tern – the streaking is less prominent in the White-winged Black Tern.

I’m a little more confident with my identification below!


Black-winged Stilt foraging.


A damselfly is snared!

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