Arctic Tern - Mordialloc, Vic - Still there and a few photos

To: birdingaus mailing list <>
Subject: Arctic Tern - Mordialloc, Vic - Still there and a few photos
From: Chris Gregory <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 23:00:36 +1100
Down in Melbourne from Sydney for a long weekend with my wife - so just had
to check out the Arctic Tern at Mordialloc Beach. Today - Friday 22nd

What an eye opener Melbourne beaches are. Just getting onto the beach was an
exercise in itself. Finally found the passage between the beach side houses
about 5pm. Temperature was a steamy 30 degrees. Once there a small flock of
gulls and terns (no Arctic) clustered around the breakwater on the south
side. Seemed quite quiet but then it all erupted. First a group of boofy
blokes went into the water and started playing a strange game of footy and
kicking the ball into the flock. More terns arrived. Then a bulldozer
appeared from nowhere and started levelling the beach like it was an out
back road and no more than 10 metres from the flock and still more birds
arrived. Then half a dozen dogs scattered the flock and more birds arrived
and finally two kids with surf boards - yup surf boards, there was no surf -
sent the whole lot flying and when peace descended the flock of gulls
(including a juvenile Pacific) and terns had swollen in the space of 20
minutes to about 4 times its original size and there was Arctic Tern happily
preening itself but keeping its distance from the gulls and other terns -
but seemed to relate to the bulldozer.

Anyway it was a great sighting and thanks to all those who have gone before
and led the way. This is one/two happy Sydneysiders. Here are a few photos
of the AT on the ground and in flight showing most of the its key ID points.

One other point. Dead Shearwater, very recent.Close RHS of path about 20
metres by post turn right from access path between houses. Didn't stop to ID
but may be of interest to others - if still there.

Chris Gregory

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