Sunday, 24 May 2020

Pennington Flash, 1st summer Arctic tern 'portlandica'

Today I managed to connect with three of the 11 arctic terns which were on the flash this morning. Of particular interest, one of the three was a 1st summer bird which is a plumage rarely seen in UK since juvenile arctic terns usually head south to the southern hemisphere for their first winter and don't return until they are adults. At one time it was considered so unusual that they were thought to be a seperate species and were given the scientific name Sterna portlandica. Unlike the pristine adults with which it was associating, the 1st summer had a dark carpel patches and although it had a black cap, it's forehead was speckled white.

The only other time I have seen this plumage was when I found a dead bird on Anglesey in 2016. 

Photo: 1st summer 'portlandica' arctic tern
 Anglesey 2016.

1 comment:

Popular Posts