Little/Saunder's tern - Arabian gulf
I was not sure if this was a little or Saunder's tern so all help would be appreciated.
Nice one this, and they can be tricky to separate, especially in non-breeding plumage, and many are intermediate.
But this is why I think your bird is a Little:
If you look at how long the white forehead patch reaches towards the eye, you´ll see that it doesn´t reach over, and behind the eye, which it doe´s in Little
and in your tern.
Is that enough to separate the two you are thinking?
That upperparts is paler (usually darker than little in winter, the opposite), than Little and the rump and tail is grey we can´t see here, white rump and tail in Little, although Little breeding in same area as Saunder´s often has central tail feathers grey. Saunder´s usually has more extensive black on outer primaries, 3 (4) black, against 2 (3) in Little, which then would be seen on a standing bird as less black on outer primariy tip, as in your bird.
They don't get any easier from you Adrian ;)
Jan very nicely summised the reasons why your bird is a Little Tern and although my own experience of Saunders Tern is rather limited, in addition I think the bill is usually duller yellow, legs duller reddish/brown and the corners of the white forehead patch (above the eye) are usually rounded as apposed to the sharply pointed corners of Little tern. These show quite well in the images provided by Jan (and comparing your own), but I am unsuare if they hold as much significance in non-breeding plumage?
I could learn plenty here myself!
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