Breaking a twitching duck with laughing gulls and terns

To: "Birding-Aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Breaking a twitching duck with laughing gulls and terns
From: Craig Doolan <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 16:03:24 +1000
I can report that the Laughing was still on Bribie this morning moving from
Buckley's Hole to the sand spit just behind it, giving lovely views of it in
flight though I didn't hear it call.  As this was my first ever twitch (the
act of driving somewhere specifically to see a particular bird), this was a
pleasing result, although from suburban Brisbane to Bribie is hardly a
massive road trip.  This partly makes up for the dark-headed gull I saw in
the Gippsland Lakes a couple of years ago but was never able to locate again
to properly identify it.

The spit off the beach also had a nice variety to terns on it with Little,
Common, Crested, Caspian and Gull-billed Terns all easy to see.  There was
also another which was either a Whiskered Tern of semi-breeding plumage
White-winged Black (WWBT), can any one offer suggestions as to which it was.
It has quite a dark belly and mostly dark bill (though there may have been a
tinge of red still in it) while the back looked reasonably normal, there was
no sign of the 'ear-pads' of a non-breeding WWBT.  I'm not overly familiar
with the site so maybe a bit of local knowledge can solve this one.

Craig Doolan

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