Jul 252021

An American Elegant Tern was discovered at the tern colony at Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey during early July 2021. I had seen Elegant Tern before, at Church Norton, Pagham Harbour, West Sussex, back in June 2017. Views were very distant and brief, as the bird kept disappearing into thick vegetation. However, this bird was much more reliable and obliging from what I had seen on the birding networks, but for one reason or another I kept putting off the visit to see it. Finally, I made the decision to go and we went on Saturday 24th July 2021.

After the short walk from the NWWT car park across the shingle bar, it wasn’t too long before the bird appeared and began to show really well, on and off for a couple of hours. A Little Egret in the channel and a Stonechat, in one of the adjacent fields near the car park, were additional sightings.

Such a beautiful location along with the comings and goings of hundreds of Sandwich Terns, Arctic Terns and Common Terns, all feeding very well grown youngsters, makes this site a special place. It won’t be long now before the colony disperses and takes the Elegant Tern with it.

A visit to the RSPB reserve at South Stack, near Holyhead finished off the day nicely. We had 3 Chough, a Hooded Crow, but surprisingly the Auk colony had already dispersed, leaving just a few stragglers, Guillemots and Razorbills, behind.

Elegant Tern – above 5 images – Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey – July 2021
Arctic Tern – above 2 images
Sandwich Tern – above 3 images
Common Tern – adult
Common Tern – juvenile
This is what happens when a Peregrine flies over the tern colony.

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