white-fronted tern ID

To: John Boyce <>
Subject: white-fronted tern ID
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 10:39:44 +1100
Hi John

Mike Carter told me there was only one November record of
White-fronted Tern (he must have been referring to Port
Phillip Bay, Victoria or the mainland). 

However yesterday (1/11) there were 3 at Ricketts Point,
Beaumaris, Melbourne where up to 35 have been seen
continually since 19/8.

The key diagnostic, for me, is the white trailing edge to
the primaries. In a resting bird this appears as a white
line on top of the end of the folded wings. 

At a guess most of the Bayside birds are immatures as shown
in Pizzey and Knight (which does not show the white line
very well but do show a dark mark at the bend of the wing -
not? shown in other guides - which can lead to confusion
with Common Tern.)

Michael Norris
PS Did anyone sort out Anthea Fleming's query about whether
there were some Little Egrets with the Cattle Egrets at
Banyule Flats?
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