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Black Tern

A mainland European species that occasionally ventures north into the British Isles and can be seen in Dorset on such occasions.

Photograph by: 
Ian Ballam

There are no nature notes for this species



Common Name Black Tern
Scientific Name Chlidonias niger
Species Group Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns
Status Occasional
Interest Level
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
Look for

A slate grey tern with a black head cap

Identification Notes
  • Not totally black but certainly darker in color than other British terns
  • Breeds in Denmark and Scandinavia and is not uncommon here
  • Usually seen around freshwater lakes so Longham Lakes is a favoured haunt 
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns