White-winged (Black) Tern

White-winged (Black) Tern Chlidonias leucopterus [Temminck, 1815]

(Extremely rare vagrant)

  1. One, 2nd-year, 4th-10th Aug. 2001 (N.R. Milbourne et al. Photographed.)

Thundery weather developed over the lake at lunchtime on 4th August, conditions which often lead to Black Terns Chlidonias niger dropping in during migration. So, I drove down and sat in my car at Rainbow Point to watch and see what happened (and listen to the cricket on the radio!). At 1415 hrs a lone marsh tern came flying from the Top End towards me and as it went past I saw the white rump indicative of a White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus through the rain streaming down the windows. I immediately drove to Green Lawn and then to the dam to watch it and confirm its identification. It landed for the first time at 1630 hrs on the bank at Cheddar Water where it was photographed by Paul Bowerman. Unusually for a tern, it stayed at the lake for 7 days.

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 2001. Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 11 January, 2013