Common Tern(s) at Carpinteria City Beach

John Callender

This morning I had fun playing with my new camera at the beach in Carpinteria. In a group of about 25 Royal Terns and 35 Elegant Terns I saw what I thought was a single Forster's Tern. As I was about to leave I noticed a second bird that was close to the same size as the Forster's but had a dark carpal bar on the folded wing and a beak that was obviously orange at the base and black at the tip.

I think it was a Common Tern. Which was very exciting for me, since I've been hoping to see the ones reported at Ocean Beach State Park, and drove up there Saturday morning without success.

After I got home and looked at my photos I had second thoughts about the "Forster's". In one shot it seems to show a hint of a dark carpal bar as well. Is it possible it was a second, older Common Tern? I'd appreciate any input people have on that point. Thanks!

Photos are here:

John Callender

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