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Terns of any description rarely visit Cardiff Bay but, if they’re ever going to, now, on Spring passage, is the time of year for it to happen … and it did, for two days at the end of last week. (Terns do sometimes pop in on Autumn passage as well, depending on the weather.) The Bay has some very keen and knowledgeable resident birders so when one of those, Gareth, put out the word that he’d seen a tern in the Bay, thought it was an Arctic tern but didn’t have his ‘scope with him, other locals quickly headed down with their equipment to check it out. Arctic tern it was! (Common and Arctic terns can be tricky to tell apart, and the term ‘commic’, a combination of their names, is used by birders when uncertain.)

230417 arctic tern (1)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get there that afternoon so imagine my delight when word came through from Gareth again the next day that the tern was still showing. Though rain threatened and did, in fact, interrupt play a couple of times, I managed to find the tern. Sadly, it wasn’t giving the close views it had the day before and was mostly a small dot on the other side of the water until, when it decided to fly onwards, it flew almost directly over my head. A head-terning moment!

230417 arctic tern (2)