ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

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Neil Fitzgerald
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ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:26 pm

brent_stephenson_152.jpg (63.13 KiB) Viewed 12474 times

Answers for this challenge are due by replying to this topic by midnight (NZST) on Monday 14 September 2009.
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Wynston Cooper
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby Wynston Cooper » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:08 pm

Not sure if my first attempt got through so here's another try.
You could have been nicer Brent and let us see the bill clearly!
I'll go with Arctic Tern on the basis of leg colour, projecting tail feathers, head colour and what (from the little that can be seen) seems to be a black bill.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby ledzep » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:51 pm

Difficult to tell from this photo, based on the white around the back of the head I'm going to go for White-Winged Black Tern, perhaps an immature.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby Ross Silcock » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:20 pm

This is a first summer Fairy Tern in transition between immature and adult non-breeding plumage. Primaries are blackish-brown (faded juvenal primaries), coverts are abraded (worn post-juvenal plumage), and crown is mostly juvenal. However rectrices look fresh (bird is preening its white rump), as do the secondaries/inner primaries that are visible. The bill is not visible, and the legs are dull reddish-brown. If my monitor isn’t fooling me, and this isn’t a light artifact, there is a minimal dark leading edge to the wing (bend of wing area) and I believe also dark tips to the coverts, many of which have worn off.

It is a small bird, as judged by the spindly legs and overall non-bulky jizz, and the object just above the "2009" in the photo (a switch?) is not dwarfed by this bird. The leg color eliminates Sterna terns (except perhaps immature Arctic, but it has much shorter legs than the subject bird. Thus larger terns (Sternas and larger) can be disregarded. The remaining contenders therefore are the Chlidonias terns, as well as Fairy and Little Terns.

Chlidonias immatures have tertials darker than the scapulars and coverts. Juvenal Black-fronted Tern has darkish underparts as well. The tertials on the subject bird are brighter than the adjacent coverts and scapulars.

This leaves Little and Fairy Terns. The primaries of the bird in question are clearly dark, too dark for an adult Fairy Tern, but in the range for retained juvenal primaries on a Fairy Tern in transition from immature and non-breeding. The leg color is good for Fairy Tern, but not the expected yellowish ranging to blackish for transitional molt Little Terns. The brightness of the tertials exceeds what would be expected in Little Tern, and the dark carpal area seems more limited than expected for Little Tern. Taken together, the features discussed point towards Fairy Tern.
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David Riddell
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby David Riddell » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:16 pm

White-winged black tern (non-breeding). Shows the black earmuffs and club-shaped nape patch nicely.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby GarySetterfield » Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:59 pm

Tricky tricky, My initial reaction was 1st winter common tern but the leg colour doesn't really seem to fit. It looks too long-legged and 'smudgy' for Arctic and not being able to see primary projection, where the cap starts, full extent of carpal bar etc i am going to have to go with gut feeling. COMMON TERN.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby murrays » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:49 pm

I'll go for the Fairy Tern, though the dark outer primaries may make it a Little Tern. I think the head pattern and even grey shoulder look more like Fairy Tern.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby TonyWilson » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:32 pm

White-winged Black Tern, because of ear muffs and head and nape markings.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby Swissbirder2000 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:11 am

I think its a White-winged Black Tern, Chlidonias leucopterus.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 September 2009

Postby harrier.talon » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:51 am

White-winged black tern (non-breeding)

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