Tag Archives: Sterna antillarum

Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, as a vagrant for the Western Palearctic

SumpfseeschwalbeTerns in general are excellent fliers, which may, from time to time, appear as vagrants outside of their home range. Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, are no exception in that. Only some days ago, a Forster’s Tern was found on the coast of Ireland. An adult winter Forster’s Tern could be observed at Corronroo along with Common Loon (Gavia immer), 3 Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis), some Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), 2 Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), 3 adults and 1 first-winter Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) or (Larus melanocephalus) and 1 second-winter Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus). This would have been an excellent selection of birds for a continental birding day in the middle of wintertime. Other Forster’s Terns could be found in Galway on Mutton Island, at Nimmo’s Pier, at Doorus and off Newtownlynch Pier. All observations were made between mid December 2014 and beginning of January 2015.

In the Western Palaearctic the first Forster’s Tern, probably an adult specimen, was taken Continue reading Forster’s Tern, Sterna forsteri, as a vagrant for the Western Palearctic

Least Tern for the Western Palearctic

Amerikanische ZwergseeschwalbeClosely related bird species occurring in different continents are always a special challenge for keen birders. It is not too long ago, that ornithologists found out, that a Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) was found in East Sussex. This was new to Britain and the Western Palearctic. Also on other sites along the western coast of Europe and Great Britain, you might have chances to see (and compare) 2 small terns of the genus Sternula. Sternula is a genus of small white terns, which is often subsumed into the larger genus Sterna. Least Tern was formerly considered to be subspecies of Little Tern but is now regarded a valid species besides the Little Tern, Sternula or Sterna albifrons.

In the case of a small Tern in East Sussex, a Little Tern, Sternula albifrons, with a distinctive Continue reading Least Tern for the Western Palearctic

Fall bird migration and waterfowl in southwestern USA – August 2013

In late summer (mid-late August/early September), the Brehm Fund for International Bird Conservation, Bonn, offers an ornithological tour to the United States. The southwestern part – located between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico – provides numerous ornithological highlights, which we will do in California and Texas Station.

California, because of its exposed location along the Pacific flyway, has an extremely diverse avifauna (over 640 species), including interesting deposits of water-and seabirds. In addition, up to 10 different species of hummingbirds, such as Anna’s, Costa’s and Calliope Hummingbird, can be observed regularly. Highlights of the trip will detour to the coastal marshes south of Los Angeles (e.g. Western Sandpiper, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow), the lagoon of Malibu (Least Tern, Black Skimmer) and in the vicinity of the Salton Sea (Caspian Tern, Yellow-footed Gull). We will also check typical chaparral habitats (coastal shrub with endemic Wrentit, California Quail, Black-headed and California Gnatcatcher) and visit the coastal mountain range with its coniferous forests (occurrence of Acorn Woodpecker, Mountain Bluebird, Steller’s Jay). The trip to a bird island of Channel Islands National Park (including endemic Island Scrub-Jay, colonies of Brandt’s Cormorant and California Gull and the possibility of observing whales) can be scheduled optional. In 2009 and 2011 excellent images of pelagic birds could be shot to enlarge the portfolio von Bird-Lens. With a bit of luck these seabirds – as you see here in the gallery– can be seen on the ferry Continue reading Fall bird migration and waterfowl in southwestern USA – August 2013

Herbstzug und Wasservögel im Südwesten der USA – August 2013, Reise des Brehm-Fonds

Im Spätsommer (ca. Mitte–Ende August/Anfang September) bietet der Brehm Fonds für internationalen Vogelschutz e.V., Bonn, eine 2,5-wöchige ornithologische und naturkundliche  Rundreise in die USA an. Der Südwesten – zwischen Pazifik und dem Golf von Mexico gelegen – bietet zahlreiche ornithologische Highlights, wobei wir in Kalifornien und Texas Station machen werden.

Kalifornien verfügt aufgrund der exponierten Lage entlang der pazifischen Zugstraße über eine äußerst artenreiche Avifauna (über 640 Arten) einschließlich interessanter Vorkommen an Wasser- und Seevögeln. Außerdem können bis zu 10 verschiedene Kolibriarten, wie Sternelfe und Annakolibri, regelmäßig beobachtet werden. Höhepunkte der Reise werden Abstecher in die Küstensümpfe südlich von Los Angeles (z. B. Bergstrandläufer, Beldings Grasammer), zur Lagune von Malibu (Amerikanische Zwergseeschwalbe, Scherenschnabel) und in die Umgebung des Salton Sea (Schmuck- und Raubseeschwalbe, Gelbfußmöwe) sein. Wir werden auch typische Chaparralhabitate (küstennahe Strauchfluren mit der endemischen Chaparraltimalie, Kalifonischer Schopfwachtel, Schwarzkopf-Mückenfänger) und die Küsten-gebirge mit ihren Koniferenwäldern (Vorkommen von Eichelspecht, Berghüttensänger und Diademhäher) aufsuchen. Die Überfahrt zu einer Vogelinsel des Channel Islands National Park (u. a. mit Insel-Buschhäher, Kolonien von Pinselscharbe und Kaliforniermöwe und der Möglichkeit der Beobachtung von Walen) kann optional eingeplant werden. In den Jahren 2009 und 2011 wurden in der Gegend sehr gute Fotos von pelagischen Vögeln (Hochseevögeln) für das Portfolio von Bird-Lens gemacht. Bei ein wenig Glück sind diese Hochseevögel – wie hier in der Gallerie zu sehen – auf der Fahrt zum Channel Islands National Park Continue reading Herbstzug und Wasservögel im Südwesten der USA – August 2013, Reise des Brehm-Fonds