26 Apr 2009

Whiskered Tern on Quoile Pondage. A first for Northern Ireland

Another Rare Tern on my local patch. Infact a first for Northern Ireland found by Keith Bennett. A Text came through saying there was a Whiskered Tern at the Quoile Pondage so I said to my wife Penny that I was heading off to see it. Instead of going for a walk at my other local patch Killard with her and Charlie my youngest son and on his birthday as well. Didn't go down very well. I drove down and there were so many cars parked outside the Castle Island Hide that I thought I would turn around go for the walk and come back later.

Went out to Killard. Initially saw a Heron being mobbed by a Hooded Crow. As I walked further there were quite alot of Whimbrel on the shore and about eight Eider offshore. All the time I was thinking I must get back to the Quoile.

Anyway we finished walk and when I had dropped of Charlie and Penny I headed down to the hide to find Gerard McGeehan and Shirley with the bird in sight a hundred yards in front of the hide. It was starting to spit with rain so chances of getting a reasonably good photo wasnt very likely. these are the ones I did get.

As I was leaving Breffni Martin from Co. Louth arrived so had a quick chat with him before heading off home.
So I have now seen both Whiskered and Foster's tern within a couple of miles of my house.

The Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus when I saw the latin name it made me wonder from what it was a hybrid. However it was so named because of its similarities between Black terns and White terns (Sterna). There are three geographical races of this bird.This was probably the Eurasian Whiskered Tern as opposed to the African or Australasian Whiskered tern.

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