Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Taken at Keyhaven, Hants on June 2nd 2016.
(1/1250th sec at f14. © David Hastings)


L: 21 - 25 cm; WS: 41 - 47 cm

A small tern, appearing to be only about half the size of a Common Tern. Its white forehead, yellow bill and blackish outer primaries are diagnostic.

It is found widely around the British coast in summer. It over-winters in S Europe and Africa.

It breeds in loose colonies along sandy, shallow coasts or islands with shingle or shells.

Little Terns hover over water, and then plunge to catch fish.

It is listed as Amber status due to nesting site vulnerability. About 1900 pairs breed in the UK.


23-May-2019 : Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire (1)
20-May-2019 : Ardivachar, South Uist (2)
19-May-2019 : Àird an Rùnair, North Uist (2)
02-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (2)
01-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (1)