To: <>
From: Simon Mustoe <>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 03:59:26 +0000

I've just been discussing these birds with Jeff Davies. The bird in flight is 
also an Arctic Tern. It clearly has pale centres to the primaries, lacks the 
dark wedge that one would expect on common, has a short bill and white gape 
above the bill. It is also starting to moult from the centre of the 
crown...thanks Jeff.

In terms of the recent reports, can I just clarify:

1. There is a report of 2 terns from Mordialloc on the 2 / 3 October (we don't 
know which date, as they are reported from different dates, depending on which 
page of Eremaea we look at).
2. There is a SEPARATE report of arctic terns from Portland. It was initially 
unclear to me as the links provided by Rohan were to two different records.

I still need Arctic Tern and they can be a difficult bird in Aus. It seems odd 
to be finding out about these birds possibly 5 days after the event, via a UK 
birding forum. From a completely personal perspective, is there any way that we 
can try to get records like this out to birders quickly? It would also be very 
useful to try to ensure that birders accompany records with information 
relevant to finding the bird. What we know about these Arctic Terns at present 
is largely academic and though of some interest, it doesn't actually help 
birders like me to find them.

In the case of any coastal bird like this, tide is always very useful. Was it 
high or low? Time of day is good - were the birds seen am or pm? When was the 
last sighting? Finally (and most importantly), where are they? Opposite what 
street? Or maybe a lat and lon.

This is all meant to be as constructive as possible, whilst at the same time, 
drawing our attention to some clear shortfalls in the way we currently present 
information. If we raise the bar just a little and provide better information 
we could make birding a lot more accessible and rewarding.




Simon Mustoe
Tel: +61 (0) 405220830 | Skype simonmustoe | Email 

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