Danny Rogers has just sent me a copy of his paper on the subject (Emu 105:
145+). Checking the measurements it seems there is a good case for treating the
Australian birds as affinis and not nilotica.
Thanks Mike (and Danny) for reminding us of the Vic records. I was
thoroughly preoccupied in 2005 and my memory is nowhere near as good as I would
like. The pattern (1 record for NSW, 2 from Vic, one from SA, 2-3 from SEQ, a
couple from NEQ) would suggest this bird is a vagrant in the east and
south. I'm not alone in believing that is not the case at all. I guess the
places it is overlooked the most are SW WA and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
--- On Fri, 18/3/11, Mike Carter <> wrote:
From: Mike Carter <>
Subject: Affinis = Asian Gull-billed Terns, more
To: "Jill Dening" <>, "Denise Goodfellow"
Cc: "Birding Aus" <>
Received: Friday, 18 March, 2011, 4:40 PM
Just to complete the picture, as so far Victoria and Tasmania are the only
states not to be mentioned as having had Asian Gull-billed Terns, there are at
least two Victorian records. Myself and Peter Lansley saw three in breeding
plumage near Carrum on one of Melbourne Water's Eastern Treatment Plants
external wetlands on 13 March 2005. At about that time, one was reported by
members of the VWSG associating with a flock of Australian Gull-billed Terns on
one of the big inlets near Wilson's Promontory and I think others may have been
reported from that site.
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