A few photos of the White-winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) at Castle Water near Rye yesterday:
|A few ID points here - including the extent of black in the underwing, the white rump and short, almost 'sawn off', rectrices|
Despite the gloomy conditions and the bird's initial absence, it soon appeared over its favoured stretch of water and performed well for myself and a fisherman who was interested enough to ask what it was called and why did people keep coming to see it, but otherwise kept his eyes on the water. I'm not a huge fan of suggesting that birds 'perform' for crowds of people, but with that buoyant flight style characteristic of terns, it felt like this vagrant from south eastern Europe was doing its best to impress as it circled us with a determined but still elastic, loping grace. This bird was a first for me, I'd love to see a spring adult one day but this moulting adult was undoubtedly a pleasure to watch.
An interesting article on separating (juvenile) Black and White-winged Black Tern here.