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Help with tern, Saudi Arabia

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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 15:22   #1
AJDH
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Help with tern, Saudi Arabia

I'm not sure if this is a white-cheeked or common tern. All help is appreciated.

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/500/page/1
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 15:31   #2
Jane Turner
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I've never seen White-cheeked and was led to believe that the primaries should be more or less the same colour as the rest of the upperparts. The grey on the underparts is less than I would expect with WCT but rather more than a typical Common - in fact its closest to breeding Arctic in that regard.

With the caveat that I don't know what a late into summer plumage White-cheeked would look like, I'd say it might be a rather dark underparted Common

Then again I can convince myself it looks long-billed! On second thoughts, wait for someone who knows White-cheeked!
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 15:35   #3
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and I can almost convince myself that the rump is grey, which would make it White-cheeked..Count that as a U-turn!
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 15:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
and I can almost convince myself that the rump is grey, which would make it White-cheeked..Count that as a U-turn!
Well my wife always tells me it is a lady's prerogative to change her mind.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 16:10   #5
Joern Lehmhus
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Too much grey for me for Common ,and the rump is also grey in my opinion... so another vote for "Not common tern"...
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 16:10   #6
lou salomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Then again I can convince myself it looks long-billed!
but not long and dark enough. check this e.g.:
http://www.birdsoman.com/WhitecheekedTern41995.jpg

i haven't seen repressa either but i'm quite sure this is a common tern with shadows at the underparts which make them grey.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 16:11   #7
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Too long tail feathers for Common, so it fits also to White-cheeked (Sterna repressa), which has longer tail-fork!
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 16:44   #8
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Long (the bird is not in full profile) bill with much back in tip, long tail reaching wing-tip (if not further), grey rump, short legs + of course dark grey underside almost darker than upperside.

For me everything fits perfectly a White-cheeked.

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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:13   #9
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Thanks everyone I'll mark it down as a white-cheeked.

Now can anyone tell me what make of tyre that is?

Last edited by AJDH : Thursday 18th May 2006 at 17:16.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:21   #10
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Hi Adrian-Jane!
The short- legged impression, long tail, reaching obviously outside wingtip (?), the grey looking rump could fit White-cheeked Tern, but the bill size (short and thick-based)and contrast wing coverts and upperparts, with a paler lesser coverts doesnt ring a "repressa bell", but it may also be due to light, depending on which light you see them, in strong light upperparts may look paler than underparts. Fresh primaries are paler than upperparts but quite rapidly wear to darker. The bill though I would like to look like this:

http://www.birdsoman.com/WhitecheekedTern.htm

Im not saying that it isnt a repressa, but Im not convinced looking at the image.

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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:25   #11
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JanJ - It looks to me like it might be a first summer bird with some which might explain some of the plumage anomolies...am looking for pictures as we speak!
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:27   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JANJ
Hi Adrian-Jane!
The short- legged impression, long tail, reaching obviously outside wingtip (?), the grey looking rump could fit White-cheeked Tern, but the bill size (short and thick-based)and contrast wing coverts and upperparts, with a paler lesser coverts doesnt ring a "repressa bell", but it may also be due to light, depending on which light you see them, in strong light upperparts may look paler than underparts. Fresh primaries are paler than upperparts but quite rapidly wear to darker. The bill though I would like to look like this:

http://www.birdsoman.com/WhitecheekedTern.htm

Im not saying that it isnt a repressa, but Im not convinced looking at the image.

JanJ
Thanks Jan,

I think I'll have to stop photographing these dubious birds.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:29   #13
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>>> but the bill size (short and thick-based)

It's debatable of course but the bird is _not_ in full profile (we can see the bill base).
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 17:29   #14
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Here are some juv/1st winters....

http://www.birdguides.com/images/new...rnflyingsm.jpg
http://www.birdfinders.co.uk/images/...eeked-tern.jpg
http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/W...edTern(TL).jpg
http://www.virtual-bird.com/pictureo...DSC_3340ws.jpg

I'm trying to imagine what they might look like between this plumage and full adult summer.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 18:34   #15
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Jane, all.

More like a second summer Jane, a first summer would not have this adult looking plumage! As second summer, like Common, usually shows white forehead or narrower band above base of bill. Bill adult like or all dark (occasionally in adult) and usually shorther tail and some dark smudging on lesser coverts.

Usually, depending on light, contrast between white cheek and and grey more obvious than in Adrians pic.

Here is a Common tern on top of a White-cheeked:

http://www.israbirding.com/reports/m...tern_barak.jpg

http://www.tarsiger.com/index.php?p=...ressa&lang=eng

The angle of the head is not in full profile, but perhaps well enough to make a judgement of bill thickness.
There are Common Tern eastern race longipennis to consider of course, but has a pale rump and shorther and usually all black bill compared to hirundo Common, but some with red bill base, usually in westernmost birds.

http://www.orientalbirdimages.org/bi...amily_ID=&p=10


Adrian, do you have some more of this?
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 19:21   #16
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I've been attempting to educate myself in the character of repressa! I find the head shape and bill shape quite distinctive in small sterna terns and have been looking at pics of repressa. They do have quite a subtle difference in terms of bill length, though in particular shape (broad-based but tapering to a very sharp point, as well as in the shape and clarity of the white over the gape line and possibly in the extent of the cap onto the nape. That said the bird in question looks strangely intermediate.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 19:51   #17
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Sorry, forgot to view these from the BF gallery:

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...e-cheeked+tern

Agree on your points Jane although such characters as shape on white over gapeline is variable according to individuals and angle.
Still think that bill is broad based, which never sruck me watching those Ive seen, but Im not excluding it being a White-cheeked, because that long looking tail and rump colour....

JanJ

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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 19:51   #18
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I gave my opinion under the photo, but I did not see this thread and will await the outcome.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 20:23   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
That said the bird in question looks strangely intermediate.
that first link of jan in #15 (the one with hirundo on top of repressa!) let me get pensive...
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 20:29   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lou salomon
that first link of jan in #15 (the one with hirundo on top of repressa!) let me get pensive...
My thoughts entirely!
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Old Friday 1st September 2006, 18:11   #21
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Just doing some indexing and came across this. second round of detective work anyone?
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Old Saturday 2nd September 2006, 13:37   #22
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Hi AJDH,

Very nice pics!
I don't think the bird is a White cheeked tern.
White cheeked terns are not difficult to ID as long as you have Commons near by. (That's true after the first ID)
The flight is lighter, in flight as well as perched birds looks distinctly darker then Common Terns and obviously the Rump is grey.
Keep sharing those nice pics with us.

Cheers
Sassi
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