By Michael Ryan, May 18, 2021

E-Bird is a worldwide organization where anyone can submit their bird sightings on line, and the data collected for the individual countries is recorded. One of the benefits of e-bird, is that you can register to receive a notification if anyone reports a rare bird in St. Kitts & Nevis.

Well, on Saturday, May 15, 2021, I received an E-bird rare bird alert, that someone had reported an Arctic Tern in the Frigate Bay area, close to the Marriott hotel. Wow, that is rare! So on Sunday, off I went and sure enough there was one Tern feeding just off of the large accumulation of Sargassum sea weed that had washed up on the beach over the past few days. Careful observation noted a red bill, grey back and underparts, white cheek, angular wings and deeply forked tail, and black trailing edge on the outer primaries. Yes, indeed it was an Arctic Tern! And the first ever sighting in St. Kitts! To make things even more interesting, on passing by the Frigate Bay pond on my way home, it looked very likely that another Arctic Tern was feeding there, but it was a little too distant to be absolutely sure!

I tried to get a good photograph, but along with the strong midday sun, the bird was always moving and diving it was proving pretty difficult. So I went back again about 5 o’clock with much better lighting, and guess what, I had left my memory card for my camera in my computer at home! Very frustrating! Of course when I got home and looked into my camera bag, I had a spare memory card all along! Even more frustrating!!

Notwithstanding, a great first sighting for St. Kitts, and for me!