My old friend Bruce Mactavish from St. Johns joined us for a foggy but fun day. It was great sharing some birds and a few humorous stories from our youth. He told us to keep an eye out for southern terns, as this was prime time for one to turn up. As luck would have it, the very next day we were scanning through the gull and tern flock at Holyrood Pond (inshore side of St. Vincent's Beach) when I was stunned to see an adult ROYAL TERN sitting on a small rock!! I told Kathi to sit tight in the vehicles until I could get the scope set up and confirm the ID and digiscope a few images. After a few tense moments, the crew slowly got out without flushing the tern and everyone had great views of this exceptional rarity.

ROYAL TERN - one of about a half a dozen records for NF

For me this was a particularly exciting sighting because this was my 500th species for CANADA! There was no cell service here so we had to wait about half an hour until we were near the small town of St. Mary's so I could call Bruce. When I did get through he sounded pretty excited about the find and he promised that "people would be on their way in a few minutes"! Later that evening he emailed me to let me know that he and at least a dozen other birders had managed to find not just one, but TWO ROYAL TERNS! This was a first for his Newfoundland list.

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