You don’t need to journey to the ocean to see a tern … we are fortunate to have at least two, and possibly four species that can be seen locally. Whiskered and Caspian Terns are common when the conditions are right – the larger Caspian Tern tends to be confined to large water bodies such as Cairn Curran, whereas the Whiskered Tern is equally at home there and on open freshwater meadows and lignum wetlands. Two additional species, the White-winged Black Tern and Gull-billed Tern, are often recorded from inland wetlands – I’ve never seen them locally but who knows … this could be the year. I spent some time last Friday observing a flock of approximately thirty Whiskered Terns at Lignum Swamp. Breeding adults develop a bright red bill and legs along with a sooty under carraige. They are an enchanting species.
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