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Tern near Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia

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Old Monday 10th December 2018, 03:41   #1
kerrybv
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Tern near Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia

Observed one small Tern standing among a group of Crested Terns on a beach a few miles west of Port Fairy this morning; 1 of the photos attached allows comparison of size with Crested Tern. ID assistance appreciated
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Old Monday 10th December 2018, 10:09   #2
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would have to wait to the people with more experience but I did wonder if its White-fronted although the size suggests little tern
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Old Monday 10th December 2018, 17:36   #3
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would have to wait to the people with more experience but I did wonder if its White-fronted although the size suggests little tern
Thanks Myoudale, according to a local bird observers club publication White-fronteds are uncommon around here, and Little (and Fairy) Terns are rare. Little Tern was my thought/guess, but by no means confident.
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 09:19   #4
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I think this is little tern. Reasons are: slight curve to the upper edge of the bill, completely black bill (no hint of brownish) and dark carpal (shoulder) bar, fairly long legs
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 09:42   #5
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Why isn't it a longipennis Common Tern?
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 09:50   #6
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Why isn't it a longipennis Common Tern?
I agree the plumage pattern looks good and at first glance I thought it was common. However, the bird looks c. half the size of the crested tern next to it. Common should be c40 cm vs 50, little c20-ish.
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 10:07   #7
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I agree the plumage pattern looks good and at first glance I thought it was common. However, the bird looks c. half the size of the crested tern next to it. Common should be c40 cm vs 50, little c20-ish.
Size illusion is well known in shots like this and I doubt that your / our impression of size, can be relied upon?
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 10:15   #8
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OK so perhaps best would be to pull out plumage differences in favour of common (over to you)?
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 12:33   #9
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OK so perhaps best would be to pull out plumage differences in favour of common (over to you)?
This look a good match to me?

https://www.audubon.org/sites/defaul...7-69-048_l.jpg
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Old Tuesday 11th December 2018, 15:04   #10
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Little Tern should have much shorter legs than this. Also head pattern different with black mask contrasting with freckled crown. Carpal bar usually less distinct on Little. Little also lacks dark outer web to outermost tail feather. Common Tern for me.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2018, 08:48   #11
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Thanks Andy, it does look a good match
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2018, 08:51   #12
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Common it is then, listed as rare in that location, thanks for your help
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 11:43   #13
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Hmmmm

Definitely not a Little, but I'm not sure why White-fronted has been excluded?
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 11:58   #14
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Hmmmm

Definitely not a Little, but I'm not sure why White-fronted has been excluded?
Feel free to give your assessment as to why it is WfT?
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Old Monday 17th December 2018, 12:00   #15
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Hmmmm

Definitely not a Little, but I'm not sure why White-fronted has been excluded?
Good point. I believe White-fronted does not have the black carpal bar and has shorter legs.
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