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Elegant Tern
Where is it?
Brownsea Lagoon 21/06/17
Factfile
Elegant Tern is an exceptionally rare bird with only a handful of previous likely records across the UK. This bird is a first for Poole Harbour and a likely second for Dorset. However, there is a great back story to this particular bird. Below is an overview of this birds history courtesy of the Birdguides website........ "Bird C has also been seen only in France during the breeding season, and primarily at Banc d'Arguin. The first sighting of this bird came on the reserve in 2002; it was caught on 3 July 2003 and fitted with a metal ring (FT67249) on the right tibia and with three plastic rings — one white on the right tarsus, and green above yellow on the left tarsus (J Gernigon). The bird, identified as a male by behaviour, bred with a Sandwich Tern for several years (2005–07, 2009, 2010, 2013) in the Banc d'Arguin colony, but also on one or two occasions in the Noirmoutier colony. Bird C has also been seen once in winter — close to Cape Town, South Africa, on 1 January 2007 (Tony Tree). Though it was ringed a long time ago, further sightings are otherwise sparse — though this is probably because of its choice of the inaccessible Banc d'Arguin as a breeding site and because it has also long been considered a hybrid because of its perceived less 'classic' appearance." As this bird has been DNA tested and proven to be an Elegant Tern then it should be accepted as the first confirmed British Record although there have been 3 sightings previously which will most likely prove acceptable now: 2005 Dorset, Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch Harbour, adult, 10 May 2002 Caernarfonshire Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, 23–26 July 2002 Devon, Dawlish Warren, 18 May; same, 18–19 July.

 

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