Toftrees Forster’s Tern

This afternoon I stopped at Toftrees Pond around 5 PM to see if all the rain had brought in anything interesting. As soon as I got there I noticed white birds in the distance which got my hope up as Caspian Terns had been reported yesterday. Looking through my scope I saw that there was a few Bonaparte’s Gulls sitting on the water, as well as a few flying. Mixed in with the gulls, however, were two Forster’s Terns. This is a new species for me in Centre County.

I tried taking some photos but with the rain and poor lighting, the photos did not turn out well. I switched the camera to video mode which worked much better. Below you can see a clip I took showing the very active behavior of the terns. I zoomed in and slowed down a section of the clip and you can pick out the frosty white outer wing and long outer tail feathers that help identify it as a Forster’s Tern. I also put some freeze frames at the end of the clip. Please pardon the dark spots (rain drops) and general poor quality. I was several hundred feet from the pond watching the terns through a torrential downpour.