Roseate Tern – records

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

Previous records are analysed in Roseate Tern 2008

2009 – Singles reported passing Strumble Head on 9th, 20th & 31st Aug. Four on Sept. 5th and an amazing 12 on the 8th (10 of which were adults).

2010 – Only nine birds recorded this year, all at Strumble Head: two on 21st Aug with one on 28th. In September single birds on the 1st & 4th with two on 14th & 25th. All were adults.

2011 – Only recorded at Strumble Head where 14 birds passed, in August singles on the 8th & 9th & three on the 29th. In September three on the 5th, two on the 11th & 18th with single birds on 13th & 14th.

2012 – Only recorded at Strumble Head where a total of 14 birds passed on six dates: five on 18th Aug & two on 24th Aug. In Sept, three on 6th, two on 7th & a single on 14th and finally a single on 4th Oct, the latest ever Strumble record (previous latest was off there on 2nd Oct 2000).

2014 – Only recorded at Strumble Head, nine birds all in late August with four on 27th & 28th and a single on the 29th.

2015 – Only recorded at Strumble Head with two single birds recorded this year, on 23rd & 29th Aug

2016 – Only recorded at Strumble Head where the two birds seen on 31st Aug were the only record for the year.

2018 – Singles logged passing Skokholm 27th Aug & 3rd Sept. A total of 12 logged passing Strumble Head all in August, singles on 16th & 13th, eight on 26th and two on 27th.

A leg of a ringed bird was found in a Peregrine roost at Valero on 22nd May. The bird had been ringed at Rockabill, near Dublin, Ireland in July 2013.

2019 – Off Strumble Head, five on 31 Aug and a single on 1 Oct.

Source – Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Roseate Tern in Pembrokeshire

Roseate Tern – 2008

Sterna dougallii Môr-wennol WridogScarce passage migrant; former breeder.

The Roseate Tern breeds in colonies dotted along the shores of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, stretching from Europe in the north to Australia in the south. The European population migrates to winter off the coast of West Africa.

E. Lort-Phillips visited Grassholm in 1883 to inspect the nesting place of a small colony of Roseate Terns which then frequented the island. Lockley et al (1949) referred to recorded breeding at Grassholm in c.1885. Mathew (1894) stated that the Roseate Tern formerly nested on Skokholm stack. No other breeding records have been traced.

There were three further recorded occurrences in the 19th century, one at Caldey in April 1875, one obtained at Pembroke in May 1887 and housed in the collection of a Dr Mills and one picked up dead near Pembroke in 1885. First recorded in the 20th century on the 10th September 1958 when three were seen off St Ann’s Head. Thereafter an average of four birds per annum were recorded in 32 years between 1963 and 2008, with nine in 2004, 11 in 1989 and 17 in 1990.These were presumed to be mostly coming or going to Ireland where the bulk of the European population nests.

Autumn passage

The majority of Roseate Terns have been noted between the 1st July and the 28th September.

Distribution of total birds 1963-2008, July – September in six day periods.

The graph was compiled from records of two at Amroth on the 14th August 1973, two at Penally on the 16th August 1973, two at Ramsey on the 19th September 1973, one in the Cleddau Estuary at Llangwm on the 13th September 1976, one in the Nevern Estuary on the 17th July 1980, one at Cwm yr Eglwys on the 5th July 1990, a total of 17 at Skokholm and a total of 77 at Strumble Head. Most have involved sightings of one or two birds per occasion but there were four at Skokholm on the 31st July 1990 and again on the 24th August 1992, one to five per occasion were involved in the Strumble Head series but eight on the 9th July 1988 and again on the 25th August 2004, with 11 on the 29th July 1990.

Additionally one was noted at Strumble Head on the 2nd October 2000 and one at Cwm yr Eglwys in mid October 1971.

All records involved adult birds save for two juveniles at Skokholm on the 31st July and the 5th August 1990.

Spring passage

Very few were recorded in spring. They were: one at Caldey in April 1975, two at Poppit on the 20th April 1998, one at Fishguard Harbour on the 24th April 2007, one at Skomer on the 23rd May 1995 and one at Strumble Head on the 27th May 1985.

June records were: two at the Gann on the 30th 1995, one at Strumble Head on the 12th 1998 with two there on the 19th in 1983 and the 23rd in 1984.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

More about the Roseate Tern in Pembrokeshire

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

Update 

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

Roseate Tern – 1949

Sterna dougallii dougallii

Recorded as breeding at Grassholm, c1885 and Mathew states that it formerly bred on Skokholm Stack.  J.Wynne writes that Mr Treweeks of Pembroke had a specimen taken locally.  One in the collection of Dr Mills was obtained at Pembroke, May 1887.  W.M.Congreve records one in the collection at the Hall, Angle, obtained locally, and this is near Castlemartin where lived Clennel Wilkinson, Mathew’s authority for the later Pembrokeshire example, picked up dead near Pembroke 1885.  It has not been recorded in the present century.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society

More about the Roseate Tern in Pembrokeshire

Roseate Tern – 1894

Sterna dougalli

Now only a rare visitor, but perhaps, formerly a regular summer visitor, and nesting on Skokholm Stack, where Mr. Mathias has informed us that some used to breed in company with the Common Terns.

Mr. Mathias, who knows this beautiful species well on wing, has several times (but not in recent years) seen Roseate Terns fishing off the east shore of Dale parish within Milford Haven. The disappearance of the Roseate Tern from the south-west of Pembrokeshire cannot be accounted for, as we have no belief that it was ever shot down or its nests robbed, and can only be set side by side with its vanishing from the Scilly Islands causelessly, and from other localities on our coasts that it used to visit. The latest Pembrokeshire example of this now rare bird that we can mention is one reported to us by the Rev. Clennell Wilkinson, rector of Castle Martin, a beautiful adult in perfect plumage, that was picked up dead some way inland in the neighbourhood of Pembroke, in 1885.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Roseate Tern in Pembrokeshire

Roseate Tern

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

Roseate Tern – records

Sterna dougallii – Môr-wennol Wridog – Scarce visitor, formerly bred. Not recorded from November to March Previous records are analysed in Roseate Tern 2008 2009 – Singles reported passing Strumble Head on 9th, 20th & 31st Aug. Four on Sept. 5th and an amazing 12 on the 8th (10 of which were adults). 2010 – Only […]

Roseate Tern – 2008

Sterna dougallii – Môr-wennol Wridog – Scarce passage migrant; former breeder. The Roseate Tern breeds in colonies dotted along the shores of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, stretching from Europe in the north to Australia in the south. The European population migrates to winter off the coast of West Africa. E. Lort-Phillips visited Grassholm […]

Roseate Tern – 1994

Sterna dougallii – Môr-wennol Wridog – Scarce 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 […]

Roseate Tern – 1949

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

Roseate Tern – 1894

Sterna dougalli Now only a rare visitor, but perhaps, formerly a regular summer visitor, and nesting on Skokholm Stack, where Mr. Mathias has informed us that some used to breed in company with the Common Terns. Mr. Mathias, who knows this beautiful species well on wing, has several times (but not in recent years) seen Roseate Terns fishing off the east […]