Terns: 1st White-winged Blacks of the season, SEQ

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Terns: 1st White-winged Blacks of the season, SEQ
From: jilldening <>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 08:33:21 +1000
Hi all,

We saw our first White-winged Black Terns of the season at Caloundra, SEQ,
yesterday. Only 2 individuals, and they didn't stay long. We also had about
34 Common Terns, of which several still wore remnant breeding plumage. And 5
Little Terns, all of which were in non-breeding plumage.

Watched spellbound as a pair of Crested Terns courted. This is something I
never tire of watching. For those unfamiliar, it goes thus:
The crests are raised, and the birds stand tall and slim, with wings held
slightly out from the body, but not outstretched. The pair looks intensely
at each other, holding this posture whilst walking slowly together in a
tight circle. In a flock, they behave as if they are the only two birds
present, so concentrated are they on each other.

In yesterday's case, he then mounted her, and stood there for a few seconds
as if practising his balancing skills. She accepted this quietly, but then
he hopped off. No funny business at all.  Just practising.


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