White-winged Black Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus

    Alt Name
    White-winged Tern

    One of the three species of "marsh terns", it is similar to Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) but shows more contrast with darker back, brilliant white rump, white leading edges of wings and black underwing coverts. Adult in summer plumage easily recognised by the jet black body and underwing coverts. In winter plumage lacks black neck patch of Black Tern.

    Identification difficulty

    Breeds in freshwater marshes, wetlands and swamps.

    When to see it

    Mostly May to September.

    Life History

    Breeds on south-eastern Europe. Seen on passage along coasts.

    UK Status

    Annual vagrant

    VC55 Status

    Rare vagrant from south-eastern Europe. Less than twenty records from our area.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map