Little Tern at Sydney Airport?

To: ? birding-aus <>
Subject: Little Tern at Sydney Airport?
From: Peter Ewin <>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 19:09:43 +1100
Evening all
On Thursday when travelling for work to and from Sydney (just what I need 
before I move from Mildura to Albury this weekend) I saw a bird at Sydney 
Airport that I am wondering if anyone can confirm. The sighting was made 
through the window of a plane at about 4:30PM at the southern end of the 
third(?) runway (the one closest to the horror show that once was Penrhyn Bay). 
A white bird, almost certainly a tern was observed out the window - it was very 
difficult to determine distance (and hence size) but my suspicion was that it 
was a Little Tern. It seemed to be landing on the grass at the end of the 
runway (that seemed very odd behaviour) which is the basis of the size for the 
identification (if it was over the water it potentially could have been a 
I know before the airport was expanded there was a breeding colony of Little 
Terns in the vicinity of the third runway, but I am wondering if this still 
occurs (or whether they are actually breeding on the grassy area beyond the 
tarmac). I am also aware that there is some sort of monitoring on the airport 
(recent discussion on BitrdLine of Oriental Plovers in areas not accessible to 
the public). So I am wondering whether anyone can confirm if there are the odd 
Little Tern still around the airport as it will save me chasing this species up 
for my annual list when I am on the North Coast around Christmas.
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