Having looked at the Tern picture, I would suggest that Mike's
identification as an Arctic Tern is rather likely. It is always hard to
determine identification accurately with just photos, but some basic
features described in my old copy of Harrisons Seabirds stand out, when
compared to Common Tern.
These include the lighter carpal area, and paler secondaries than Common
Tern. In flight Arctic shows whiter rump and whiter secondaries. Head and
bill shape also differ from Common. Good luck if you're looking for it!
Having seen the picture on another birding forum, I also noticed the usual
annual influx of vagrants to Europe, and some of the related forum posts. It
would be a shame if twitching and birding in Australia became as fiercely
competitive as in the UK. There's often negative comments in the UK when
news of a rare bird is released a few days late (usually by very competitive
twitchers who've "dipped"). This seems to inhibit other birders from passing
on news at all, why bother when other birders complain? I've been twitching
in the UK, it's not pretty! Better late than never I say, keep passing on
your bird news please, regardless of how recent it is.
Have Fun & Happy Birding
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