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Noddy species, a Pelagic off Karachi coast after hurricane (1 Viewer)

@oriolus

Member
Pakistan
I found this Noddy individual off Clifton beach, Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan.

The bird was first observed with my monocular for while. The bird appeared at least half a kilometre from the beach. The prominent dark brown tern was a good giveaway for Noddies. I immediately thought of Brown noddy which has been further West of Coast in offshore waters. However, this tern was much slim, sleeker and with a thin, long bill (thinner than a Brown noddy in my opinion), this referred to a Lesser Noddy which has been recorded from West Coast of India.
I only got a few seconds to take some very bad photos but here they are... (the photos have been heavily cropped)
Date: 21-5-21

So could this be a Lesser noddy?
 

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MJB

Well-known member
I found this Noddy individual off Clifton beach, Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan.

The bird was first observed with my monocular for while. The bird appeared at least half a kilometre from the beach. The prominent dark brown tern was a good giveaway for Noddies. I immediately thought of Brown noddy which has been further West of Coast in offshore waters. However, this tern was much slim, sleeker and with a thin, long bill (thinner than a Brown noddy in my opinion), this referred to a Lesser Noddy which has been recorded from West Coast of India.
I only got a few seconds to take some very bad photos but here they are... (the photos have been heavily cropped)
Date: 21-5-21

So could this be a Lesser noddy?
The tail in image 1 is more suggestive of a juvenile Bridled Tern, which of course is a much larger bird than any Noddy, but its wing flight feathers would not be full length, giving the impression of slender wings. At present, I suggest that tail shape doesn't relate to a Noddy species unless it has aberrant central tail growth, but I'll defer to seabird experts!
MJB
 

@oriolus

Member
Pakistan
Much thanks. Very well, I was confsued about the deeply-forked tail as well. Bridleds are definitely more common here than noddies. Let's wait for more says.
 

Butty

Well-known member
As indicated, tail-structure rules out a noddy. Plumage is (fairly) clearly all dark-above and whitish below, which means bridled tern or sooty tern. Narrow/long-winged look is suggestive of a big bird which might favour sooty tern, but it seems that would be a substantial rarity there.
 

@oriolus

Member
Pakistan
Thank you for the input. Yes, the bridled/sooty terns are two species that come to mind immediately.
Just an addition input from my side, as during summer, out coast is normally not that diverse, reef herons and Balck kites are the only dark bird one expects at the coast. Before taking up my monocular, I expected this bird to be one of these two as well. It was definitely a large bird.

I can share uncropped pictures as well if you need to understand size, long wing look better? Yes, this would would first National record for Pakistan if ID is of Sooty.
 

John_WA

Well-known member
The tail in image 1 is more suggestive of a juvenile Bridled Tern, which of course is a much larger bird than any Noddy, but its wing flight feathers would not be full length, giving the impression of slender wings. At present, I suggest that tail shape doesn't relate to a Noddy species unless it has aberrant central tail growth, but I'll defer to seabird experts!
MJB
Late on this and agree it looks like a Sooty/Bridled type, but would just note that Bridled Tern is noticeably smaller than Common/Brown Noddy is noticeably and similar to Lesser Noddy - though I suspect Lesser is shorter-winged (and definitely gives a smaller impression with a weaker and fluttering flight)
 

MJB

Well-known member
Late on this and agree it looks like a Sooty/Bridled type, but would just note that Bridled Tern is noticeably smaller than Common/Brown Noddy is noticeably and similar to Lesser Noddy - though I suspect Lesser is shorter-winged (and definitely gives a smaller impression with a weaker and fluttering flight)
Thanks John! Good to hear from you again! I had a great trip to Iron Range Cape York in 2019, butI missed out on Oz trips in 2020 & 2021 and by 2022 most car rentals will say I'm too old...!
Yours aye
Mike
 

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