To: Simon Mustoe <>
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 18:14:52 +1000
Birdforum is a global forum, Simon.

It is used by thousands of birders posting in a range of forums. Most go to the 'what bird is this' list, as was the case with the arctic tern thread - Home > Forums > Birding > Bird Identification Q&A > Smaller Terns from Melbourne, Australia. Sometimes the comments are very good, sometimes it's a case of the blind leading the blind.

At the moment, there aren't many Birding-Aussers using that forum, so it took a while to get into our network.


On 07/10/2010, at 1:59 PM, Simon Mustoe wrote:


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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