Terns on Kangaroo Island

To: "Ken Grinter" <>
Subject: Terns on Kangaroo Island
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 11:37:17 +1100
Hi Ken,
a great record which I feel would be very valuable to submit to Birds Australia Rarities Committee. Interestingly Antarctic Tern is easier to identify in basic (winter) plumage when the combination of red bill and red legs plus big white forehead is very distinctive in this complex group of "comic" terns. You may have been the first person to see this species alive on mainland Australia as both the previous records were identified in specimen trays held in museum collections. Interestingly the first, identified by Chris Corben was found in November on Kangaroo Island collected in 1982. The second, discovered by Kevin Bartram I think came from Busselton in July 1978. It is most likely to have been of one of the west Indian Ocean subspecies which move between the breeding islands and South Africa in winter. See HANZAB Vol. 3 for a full run down.
There were also an excellent photo published in a WINGSPAN issue several years ago following a SAfrican Ornithological Congress of winter plumaged Antarctic Terns roosting on a jetty. Good luck with the excellent sighting. Remember also even if does not get accepted it will help towards establishing a pattern of visitation of this rarity for the next lucky person who might encounter one.
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