Non Breeding Terns…. They can be tricky

I spoke with Kevin Rysiewski today who said that he had a Tern near Eastwood Beach at Stoney Creek Metropark… He thought it was a Common, but it was in a group of gulls and sleeping so it was hard for him to tell… I headed out there after work and took some photos…. I find fall terns confusing at times… This one had a full black cap, yet the bill was turning dark for the winter… There was no dark carpal area that I would see in a young Common, however I wouldn’t see it in an adult… In the sitting position on the beach, the primaries looked very dark, almost black… The tail and the wing projection were fairly close when looking directly at the side, but there was a slight edge to the tail be slightly longer… The legs appeared more red to me than orange…. Crossley describes the Common as compact and well proportioned with a rounded undercarriage…  This bird fits that description to the T… Plus its October and I would already expect Forster’s Tern to have their nonbr. plumage since they change more early than Common Terns…. So I am calling this a Common Tern (226). If anyone has a difference of an opinion please feel free to leave a comment…

I also visited Eastwood Beach this morning at Stoney Creek Metropark and then ran over to the Osprey Trail….  Lake was covered in fog at dawn and there was not much to see…. One Great Blue Heron enjoying the cold, some Pied-billed Grebes and a couple of Bonaparte Gulls mixed in with the usual gang of Ring-billeds…. The Osprey Trail was hopping…. Yellow rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, Ruby and Golden Crowned Kinglets, 2 Eastern Towhee, multiple Swamp Sparrows, Tufted Titmouse and White-throated Sparrows…..

Before I headed to Stoney to look at the tern, I stopped by Holland Ponds…. Not much to see except a Hermit Thrush and a pair of Ruby crowned Kinglets….  I also found a couple of late season Buckeye Butterflies……

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

 

Swamp Sparrow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Great Blue Heron

Buckeye

 

 

 

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