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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 20:24   #1
AJDH
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Saunders's and little tern-Eastern Saudi Arabia

Hopefully I have manged to get a shot of a Saunders's and little tern together but would like confirmation.

Thanks

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/500/page/1
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 20:59   #2
lewis20126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJDH
Hopefully I have manged to get a shot of a Saunders's and little tern together but would like confirmation.

Thanks

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/500/page/1
Looks pretty good to me - the head pattern on the right hand bird looks good for Little as does the wing pattern; ; the flight shot of the Saunder's is excellent and demonstrates the greater number of black primaries. I guess the head is in moult to some extent which explains the pale loral area - the head looks like an Australian Fairy Tern!

Alan
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 21:01   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126
Looks pretty good to me - the head pattern on the right hand bird looks good for Little as does the wing pattern; ; the flight shot of the Saunder's is excellent and demonstrates the greater number of black primaries. I guess the head is in moult to some extent which explains the pale loral area - the head looks like an Australian Fairy Tern!

Alan
Thanks Alan.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 22:23   #4
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I canīt see the head pattern properly on any of these two to make further confirmation of species/ssp?

Saunderīs Iran April:

http://www.sofnet.org/file/Iraperssm...Iraperssma.JPG

Just for note, pale forehead pattern in 1cy and adult winter Saunderīs mirror that of the summer plumaged in that the white patch doesnīt reach behind the eye as usually in Little.

1cy Saunderīs Now.

http://www.sofnet.org/file/saunder1....e=saunder1.jpg

1cy Little Oct.

http://www.sofnet.org/file/SMATARN4....e=SMATARN4.JPG

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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 15:48   #5
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Aren't they both just Little Tern? Usually Saunder's have a grey rump, uppertail-coverts and tail. Neither of these birds appear to have that...though it is difficult to see on the right hand bird and of course the strong sunlight could obscure the true color on the left hand bird.

Also I think if the left hand bird was Saunder's you would have all black primaries...only half he primaries seem to be black on the bird in the photo.

Sean
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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 18:31   #6
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On my monitor the left tern shows a greyish uppertail with white sides.
If I understand you right Sean - by saying that 'all the primaries' should be black on a Saunderīs Tern - you really mean that Saunderīs has a 'wider' black area on outer primaries compared to Little Tern.

As staded in an earlier post I find it difficult to be sure of the identification of these two in this image (no disrespect Adrian ). I for once canīt see the head pattern properly, because thatīs what I want to see before I draw any conclusions. We also have to consider that Little Terns in the area might show grey central tail (but paler rump) and intergrades occcur.

Any more Adrian?

JanJ
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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 18:53   #7
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Hi I think that the photo shows both Saunders's on the left and Little on the right the extent of the black on the primaries shouts out Saunders's to me but I must say that only having seen Saunders's twice I am no expert
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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 19:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ
Any more Adrian?

JanJ
I have about 100 images but as I'm still on dial-up the following will have to suffice. I can't swear they are the same birds because there were several around.
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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 20:55   #9
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Here they are reversed, the right one in image 1 is on the left now and they seem to be the same.Looking again at the yellow-billed individual at 500% you can actually see quite obvious see the white frontal patch, not reaching behind the eye but not with the straight upper edge in a similar fashion to these:

http://www.birdsoman.com/Birds/061-G...nderssTern.htm

But notice this Little taken in Greece:

http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?i...icture_id=6048

Itīs a little more difficult to see this in the dark-billed bird, which is still much in winter plumage (2cy?) and clearly with 4 dark outer primaries which indicates Saunderīs.

Maybe showing to much unsurity but still not 100% Adrian.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....highlight=tern

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....=saunders+tern

JanJ

Last edited by JANJ : Friday 30th March 2007 at 21:03.
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 04:36   #10
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No one has made any comments about the colour of the legs - Yellow orange Little - Grey brown Yellow less in fact little Orange in Saunders'
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 08:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard King
No one has made any comments about the colour of the legs - Yellow orange Little - Grey brown Yellow less in fact little Orange in Saunders'
Correct Howard. Yellow - orange-yellow = Little (Summer). Reddish-brown - mid-brown = Saunderīs (summer). Both have dark legs and bill in winter.

Difficult to judge the correct tone in images due to light and variation. and I wouldnīt trust it all together.

Little May:

http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?i...cture_id=14467

Greece April:

http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?i...icture_id=6301

In Adrians yellow-billed they look reddish-orange, 'ketchup'

How many of these are Saunderīs? (Goa Feb.

http://www.tarsiger.com/images/Soisk...205goa.jpg.jpg

http://www.tarsiger.com/images/Soisk..._070205goa.jpg

http://www.tarsiger.com/images/Soisk..._070205goa.jpg

JanJ
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 14:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ
On my monitor the left tern shows a greyish uppertail with white sides.
If I understand you right Sean - by saying that 'all the primaries' should be black on a Saunderīs Tern - you really mean that Saunderīs has a 'wider' black area on outer primaries compared to Little Tern.

As staded in an earlier post I find it difficult to be sure of the identification of these two in this image (no disrespect Adrian ). I for once canīt see the head pattern properly, because thatīs what I want to see before I draw any conclusions. We also have to consider that Little Terns in the area might show grey central tail (but paler rump) and intergrades occcur.

Any more Adrian?

JanJ
Hey Jan

I will re-phrase what I wrote..as it was bad. Yes I meant that the black area on the outer primaries is wider in adults in full breeding plumage in Saunder's than Little. In 1st year birds, it is often most of the primaries that are black if memory serves (which it often doesn't).

Now I couldn't see the greyish upper tail on the left-hand bird in the first photo, but in the reposted photos..the bid on the right does appear to have some grey on the rump and inner tail.

You mention that Little might have a greyish central tail and paler rump. Agreed..but in winter plumage in Little it should be all white, though of course these birds are coming into, if not in breeding plumage and often Little has all grey rump and upper tail as Saunders. Moreover Ist year saunder's often have white rumps and tails. I hadn't considered intergrades.

The face pattern on the second posting looks good for the two species. The bird on the left in the second posting is definitely Little, the bird on the right is most likely Saunders, but I guess one still can't rule out a 1st winter Little Tern coming into breeding plumage for the first time.

I had not mentioned leg color, but as Jan points out it is the same in winter, both have dark legs and bill, attaining only bright orange legs in Little in the summer, with as Howard points out Saunder's having dirty yellowish. Although the right-hand bird has dark legs it is not clear in the photo on my screen and it could be that the bird has not yet attained ful-breedng plumage, as the bill still looks a litle dark at the base.

I haven't seen Saunders Little Tern in 10 years, so admittedly a bit rusty too. Still great photos.

Cheers

Sean
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 17:43   #13
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You might be interested to know that for both Little and Saunders' Tern their breeding season here in Bahrain at least is April to July - this will have obvious ramifications as to colouration of bare parts and other plumage. As to when they attain full breeding plumage might therefore be a lot earlier than some might think - Winter in the gulf FINISHED a month or so ago tempreature today was close to a cool 30c with a sea temp of 22c Minimum expected around 20c, humidity 75%

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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 19:39   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ
Any more Adrian?

JanJ
Here's a couple extra that I've enlarged the head and body. Does this help?

Adrian
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