Little Tern at Sydney Airport?

To: "Peter Ewin" <>, "? birding-aus" <>
Subject: Little Tern at Sydney Airport?
From: "Jenny Stiles" <>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 20:03:05 +1100
Hi Peter,
Yes there are Little Terns at Sydney Airport. We saw several at the rehabilitated Penryn Bay near the birdhide on the 1st December on an outing with Cumberland Bird Observers. One was nesting, one flying around the bay and one was dive bombing a Masked Lapwing so may have also had a nearby nest. Also present were Great Knots, a Red-capped Plover with chick, A pair of Pied Oystercatchers with a juvenile and an Osprey gathering sticks.

From Jenny Stiles

-----Original Message----- From: Peter Ewin
Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2013 7:09 PM
To: ? birding-aus
Subject: Little Tern at Sydney Airport?

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 Crested). 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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