Possible Black Tern in Newcastle (A few years ago)

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Subject: Possible Black Tern in Newcastle (A few years ago)
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 20:17:48 -0700
Hi Niven

You mentioning about the possibility of a Black Tern makes me wan't to raise
the following.

I possibly saw a Black Tern in full breeding plumage amongst 30-40
White-winged Black Terns at Newcastle Harbour a couple of  years ago (about
late March). It had a fully black head and breast as a normal White-winged
Black Tern in breeding plumage, with "dark grey" shoulders not contrasting
with the grey of the rest of the upper-wing and the lower back, but
unfortuantely could not see the underwing coverts (which should be white and
not black) as the Tern was roosting on a bouy and not seen in flight. Seeing
white underwing coverts in this bird would have made it more in favour of a
Black Tern but I had to see this to be more convinced. Bill of this Tern
seen was also black and not red. Kicks me everytime I think back on it.
There is a record (confirmed?) previously for an observation of a Black Tern
in Newcastle and other records further south on the central coast NSW and in
Sydney. Certainly will keep my eyes open when looking at White-winged Black
Terns next time.


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