Roseate Tern – 1994

Sterna dougallii Môr-wennol WridogScarce visitor, formerly bred. Not recorded from November to March

Mathew (1894) stated that Roseate Terns formerly bred on Skokholm Stack. E. Lort Phillips visited a small colony breeding on Grassholm in 1883 and Lockley et al. (1949) referred to breeding on Grassholm in about 1885.

Roseate Terns were not recorded in the present century until one was seen at Skokholm on 1 September 1963, followed by sightings in 18 years between 1983 and 1992.

There are single records for April, May and October, all other records being between July and September. Numbers are small, and no more than five have been seen on any occasion apart from 11 fishing off Strumble Head on 29 July 1989. Other locations include Skokholm, Cwm yr Eglwys, St Govan’s Head, Freshwater East and, once, inside the estuaries of the Nevem and Cleddau.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire


The second paragraph appears to contain a mis-print.  GHR record files show Roseate Terns on 21 dates between 1983 and 1992 (inclusive), but excludes the 11 at Strumble on 29/7/89.

However, it should more likely read that Roseate Terns were recorded in 18 of the years between the 1973 Skokholm record and 1992.

Four further 20th century records – 1958, 1963, 1967 and 1971 – have come to light since the publication of the book.

More about the Roseate Tern in Pembrokeshire