• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Tern Sp. --- Almeria, Spain. (1 Viewer)

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Saw this tern and snapped a quick photo in a fishing port today. I saw several sandwich terns, but soon realised that this bird was not one of those. As can be seen in the photo, It has a mostly white body, slightly forked tail, black cap and an orange beak. Less obvious are the dark legs. I doubt it is a common tern (wrong leg colour, wrong beak size) but I was considering lesser crested T, whiskered tern or maaaaaybeeeeee a caspian tern? I dont know, any thoughts?

Thanks!

P3020075.JPG
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Sorry mistake! When I said I doubted that it was a common tern I meant to say that I doubted that it was a caspian tern, and that common tern was a possibility!!!!
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Looks like a Lesser Crested Tern - that would be a similar size and build as the Sandwich Terns.

Steve
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Yeah, I was really thinking about that, but I thought that the beak colour was a bit wrong. Don't you agree? In LCT the beak is a pale orange, almost yelloe, whereas the bird in the photo seems to have a dark orange bill.
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Yeah, there are no recorded sightings of it in march on eBird, but who knows, it really looks like a common tern.
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
But it looks very much like a CT
I'm not convinced the apparent bill colour is correct. When I saw it I thought it dark with a possibly light tip (i.e. like sandwich). On the other hand if it is orange it might be ok for lesser crested; orange can be quite strong (and then there's cayenne). I thought it too barrel chested for common. Doubtless there are good reasons why this isn't sandwich but that was my first impression. It's certainly not Caspian.
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
No, the bill was definitely dark orange, although I think it does have a yellow-ish tip (like a sandwich tern, but I am sure that this bird is not a ST). So both sandwich tern and caspian are out. I am pushing for common , even though it is an odd time to see them here, because it looks very much like a common tern, and I'm unsure about it being a lesser crested tern, just based on bill colour. Then again, I'm no expert and am just taking guesses based on the photo.
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
If you zoom right in on the image there are orange/red/brown artefacts on the underwing, along the lower edge of the belly and along the trailing edge of the left wing. I've cropped most of the head out but what can be seen of the rear crown is also showing this false color.

So I would conclude that its bill isn't as colorful as it might appear, and that this is in all probability a Sandwich Tern. Far more likely than Lesser Crested Tern!
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 9.18.32 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 9.18.32 PM.png
    1.4 MB · Views: 29
Last edited:

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I must have understood the OP, I thought you said the bill was orange, Joseph?! 😳 (and that is why you said you ‘realised it wasn’t a Sandwich’). So you didn’t actually see the bill in the field then?

If not, then agree this is artefact and it is a Sandwich after all!
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Look, when I saw the bird yesterday it looked odd, I didn't know why at the time but I got a photo. When I got home and looked at the photo I could see why this bird looked odd, the bill was orange. No, I did not see the orange beak in the field, but since the bill colour is not obvious in the expanded photo you just have to believe me when I tell you that when looking at the photo close up on the camera that it was taken on the orange colour is much more apparent.

I understand that if the bill was black this would clearly be a ST, but the bill is orange!!!
 

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
To me the bill looks black - especially around the base. If you zoom in there is very little difference between the colour of the bill and the dark crown.
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
If you think it will help, here it is, but... (this is a heavily cropped photo from the back of the camera taken with a phone, excuse the poor quality)
IMG_20210303_185618.jpg
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
If you think it will help, here it is, but... (this is a heavily cropped photo from the back of the camera taken with a phone, excuse the poor quality)
View attachment 1372372
Pretty sure the apparent yellow/orange here is colour cast and not real. For example compare with the colour just behind the eye (=+/- the same). I take from this photo that there's a paler bill tip but I understand if you see something different...

I wasn't serious in mentioning cayenne tern, but that does at least demonstrate that sandwich tern bill colours can be variable...
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top