Black Tern at Stieglitz, Tasmania.

To: "" <>
Subject: Black Tern at Stieglitz, Tasmania.
From: Dimitris Bertzeletos <>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:40:56 +0200
Hello Ian

Exciting sighting! What age was the bird? And did you notice any other plumage 
characteristics? Dark sides on the breast alone cannot rule out a White-winged 
Black Tern as they can show one when moulting body feathers though this is 
rarely as marked as on Black Tern. I am not saying that the bird you saw wasn't 
a Black Tern, but your written description is not enough to rule out 
White-winged Black Tern. In any case good luck with your BARC submission if you 
decide to do so. :).



> Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:28:51 +1100
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Black Tern at Stieglitz, Tasmania.
> g'Day all
> At about 3.30pm on Tuesday afternoon (18/11/2014) while exercising my 
> dog at Windmill Swamp, Stieglitz Tas. I observed a solitary Black Tern 
> (Chlidonias niger) in non breeding plumage, feeding vigorously around 
> the vegetated rushy, reedy margins of the fresh water swamp.  After 
> about 1/2 an hour, the bird ceased feeding and began circling rapidly, 
> ascending to an estimated 150 meters height where it then flew south for 
> as long as I could watch it holding my binoculars and to where it was 
> just a speck in the sky, almost out of sight it then descended out of 
> sight towards Jocks Lagoon also fresh water. (RAMSAR site), about 1 km 
> away from where I was standing. 
> Most distinctive feature from distance is its buoyant and erratic, 
> flitting, darting flight.  Its direction changes were remarkable to 
> watch, rapidly swooping, back flitting and diving from about 10 meters 
> to the water surface among reedy vegetation feeding on what appeared to 
> be surface insects.  Unique face markings, dark marks on sides of 
> breast, white collar and rapid floating, buoyant, darting erratic flight 
> were the most characteristic features that I could see.
> The next day and also today (Thursday) I was unable to relocate the bird 
> after searching all coastal swamps and suitable habitats from St Helens 
> to Falmouth.  I did not have a camera with me, but 100% certain of this 
> bird's identity having experience with and studied both Whiskered and 
> White-winged Black Terns in previous years.   The purpose of this note 
> is to alert observers in Tasmania to be on the lookout.   I will post 
> more information in the next week with all minor detail. 
> I decided to post this on Birding-Aus because for me, BA offers the more 
> for bird watchers, not just for twitchers and seems to have the best, 
> most comprehensive and reliable archive.
> Good birding and best wishes
> Ian May
> St Helens, Tasmania
> 0428337956
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