Thursday, November 6, 2008

Roseate and other sterna terns - Nov 5th

If I was blown away by the gull show in Provincetown, the show of sterna terns was just the icing on the cake - 100+ Common Terns off Race Point beach before noon! It seemed like all of them were heading west to join a roost that I later found at Herring Cove beach numbering some 400 plus birds. Incredible to be watching terns massing on the beach in early November in New England! Numerous scope scans through the flock produced nothing other than Common Terns and it wasn't until I got really close (risking the rapidly rising tide) that I picked out a few Forster's, and ultimately a couple of molting juvenile Roseate Terns. The Roseates still retained some juvenile feathers on the mantle and scapulars, as well as showing a dark 'peppered' forecrown. A nice late record, and a plumage phase of Roseate Tern that I'd always wanted to see.

Roseate Tern - juvenile, in the center of all three above images.

sterna terns - at rest, North of Herring Cove beach.

Common Terns - at rest, North of Herring Cove beach.

sterna terns - densely packed flock shortly after take off. Herring Cove beach.

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