Little Tern – records

Sternula albifronsMôr-wennol FechanScarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July

Earlier records are summarised in Little Tern 2006

2006All records from Strumble Hd where 1 on 3 Aug, 3 on 25 & 27 Sept, singles 28 Sept & 2 Oct.
2007All records were of singles off Strumble Head in September, on the 1st, 3rd and 5th (GHR, RS)
2008All records were: two at Freshwater West 30 April, and one there 20 May.  Two in Angle Bay on 5 Aug, and one on Carew River on 3 Sep.
2009Passage noted off Strumble Head in Autumn: in August two on the 20th and one on the 21st, in September one on 4th and 5th, and two on 8th, and finally one on 10th October.
2010All records came from Strumble Head where there was an above average year with a total of 29 birds between 25th July & 16th Sept. In July two on 25th, in August single birds on 16th & 18th with four on 21st and in September single birds on 1st, 4th & 5th with a good count of 16 on 7th (highest ever day count) and finally two on 16th.
2011Only recorded from Strumble Head where 14 birds passed, one on 29th Aug and in September a single on the 10th, two on 11th, 12th & 13th with four on the 18th.
2012Only recorded from Strumble Head where 15 birds passed on five dates: nine on 18th Aug with singles on 25th & 30th, in Sept. three on 1st & a single on the 24th.
2013Only recorded at Strumble Head when four seen on 28th July (RS).
2014Two spring records of a singles: at the Teifi Est on 4th May then another at Fishguard Harbour on 7th & 8th May. It was a good year for this species passing Strumble Head with a total of 21 birds logged. In August singles on 11th, 25th & 30th with two on 27th, six on 29th & seven on 28th. In September singles on 17th & 30th and in October a single bird on the 9th.
2015Only recorded at Strumble Head, with four on 23rd Aug and a single on 3rd Sept.
2016At Strumble Head a total of eight birds recorded, singles on 4th & 29th Aug with six on the 31st of the same month.
2017A total of nine birds recorded at Strumble Head, five in August, three in September and a single in October
2018A total of 17 logged passing Strumble Head: four on 24th & 27th Aug, five 21st Sept and two 19th & 23rd Sept
2019Single off Strumble Head 29 Sept was the only record.
2020One off the mouth of the Teifi Estuary, 19 Aug

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

More about the Little Tern in Pembrokeshire

Little Tern – 2006

Sternula albifronsMôr-wennol FechanScarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July

Little Terns breed from Britain eastwards into Europe and central Asia and south as far as North Africa and India. They nest on both sides of the Irish Sea and along the west coast of Scotland with just one colony in Wales, post 1989, in Flintshire. Those seen in Pembrokeshire probably originate from these Irish and west coast colonies.

The Little Tern was considered to be an occasional passage migrant by Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al (1949), whereas Donovan and Rees (1994), with the benefit of increased observer cover, concluded it was a scarce passage migrant seen in most years.

Little Terns have been recorded around the coast at Fishguard, Strumble Head, Abermawr, St David’s Head, Solva, Newgale, Broad Haven (North), Skomer, Skokholm, St Govan’s Head, Tenby and Caldey, further out to sea at Grassholm and The Smalls, inside the Teifi and Nevern Estuaries and within the extensive Cleddau Estuary  at the Gann, West Williamston and Picton Point. All were seen over salt water except for singles at Bosherston on the 31st August 1937 and on the 8th September 1993

Spring – There have been only 15 records in the spring, between 14th April and 24th June, having been seen eight times in April, three times in May and four times in June. All were occurrences of one or two birds at a time except for six in Solva Harbour on the 8th May 1916.

Autumn – The Little Tern has predominantly been seen in the autumn, between 30th July and 6th November. There has been about an equal volume of records for August and September, with fewer in October and just one July occurrence, at The Smalls on the 30th, and singles were seen Tenby on 6th November 1961 and Skokholm on 1st and 6th November 1980. Most records were of one to three birds at a time but larger groups have been seen on 17 occasions, the largest being 23 at Skomer on the 17th September 1992.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

More about the Little Tern in Pembrokeshire

Little Tern – 1994

Sternula albifronsMôr-wennol FechanScarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July

Both Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) considered the Little Tern to be an occasional passage migrant, noting records of up to six birds at Grassholm, Skokholm and Solva. B. Lloyd’s diaries for 1930-1937 include records of ones and twos at Fishguard Harbour in August 1930, September 1935 and October 1936 with one at Bosherston Pools in May 1937.

They are now recorded on passage at the islands and coast most years and occasionally enter Fishguard Harbour and the Cleddau Estuary, particularly at the Gann. One or two are seen between 25 April and 16 June and up to seven between 11 August and 27 October, 90% of the records referring to the autumn. An exceptional passage occurred between 22 August and 12 September 1992 with up to six at Strumble Head, 11 at Skokholm and 23 at Skomer. Late birds were noted at Tenby on 6 November 1961 and off Skokholm on 1 and 6 November 1980.

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

More about the Little Tern in Pembrokeshire

Little Tern

Sternula albifronsMôr-wennol FechanScarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July

Little Tern – 2006

Sternula albifrons – Môr-wennol Fechan – Scarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July Little Terns breed from Britain eastwards into Europe and central Asia and south as far as North Africa and India. They nest on both sides of the Irish Sea and along the west coast of Scotland with just […]

Little Tern – 1994

Sternula albifrons – Môr-wennol Fechan – Scarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July Both Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) considered the Little Tern to be an occasional passage migrant, noting records of up to six birds at Grassholm, Skokholm and Solva. B. Lloyd’s diaries for 1930-1937 include records of […]

Little Tern – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Little Tern – 1894

Sterna minuta Occasionally seen on the coast when passing. In Mr. Mathias’ list. Has occurred to Sir Hugh Owen at Goodwick. A stuffed specimen is preserved in the Bank at Fishguard. Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands More about the Little Tern in Pembrokeshire