FW: FW: [canberrabirds] Whiskered Tern at Kelly's this am - again

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: FW: [canberrabirds] Whiskered Tern at Kelly's this am - again
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2017 02:10:15 +0000

I was not surprised at the absence of terns at the early morning still and glassy Kelly Swamp.  However I found them (about 6) between Monaro Highway and the FORBIDDEN PONDS. They were in the company of seagulls hawking for insects at about tree-top height, sometimes below that.  I’ll take a closer look to see if I can find any prey in the pics – must be very small. As to whether they were using the adjacent FORBIDDEN PONDS , occasionally one would fly over there to continue the same behaviour above the water surface, occasionally swooping down a bit lower.  They had moved off somewhere else by about 9.





From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Saturday, 30 September 2017 5:14 PM
Subject: FW: FW: [canberrabirds] Whiskered Tern at Kelly's this am - again


Yes  -  the Australian headquarters of the species is probably Werribee, where seasonally there are tens of thousands, easily the most common bird in the area.  They have a particular liking for hover-hunting over roadside strips of feral rape, which must be very rich in insect life.  The birds plunge completely into this.  In the below the distinctive profile of the You Yangs can be seen in the background.




From: Martin Butterfield
Sent: Saturday, 30 September 2017 1:18 PM
To: Con Boekel
Cc: COG List
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Whiskered Tern at Kelly's this am - again


The words of HANZAB are interesting.  Based on observations from the Northern Territory there is apparently a marked difference between sexes with males eating more fish and females more invertebrates.  


During last year's breeding event on the Hoskinstown Plain the Terns were frequently seen flying in flocks over grasshopper ridden paddocks 100+ metres from the waters edge.  Given the ephemeral nature of that marsh, and it not having a direct connection with a permanent water body I doubt greatly if there were any fish in it.


On 30 September 2017 at 13:02, Con Boekel <> wrote:

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