Unidentified Gull or Tern at Tokaanu

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Jim Kirker
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Unidentified Gull or Tern at Tokaanu

Postby Jim Kirker » Tue May 08, 2018 8:54 pm

The tern in the cropped lower two photos flew directly quite high up across lake Taupo from Waihi towards the old Tokaanu wharf. Probably a caspian but looks smaller and finer and a red bill is not obvious in the poor quality photos. At the time I saw it with binoculars I noted "large white tern with black and white on wings - saw no red". I remember I was struck by clearly defined black and white wing markings. I saw five caspian terns fishing at Rotoaira later that afternoon and the red bills were obvious. Probably impossible to be sure of an id and I don't want to waste time on an impossible task, but can anyone say for sure "not a Caspian Tern". As a side note, a small tern flew from a pole off the new Tokaanu wharf the next day as a Harrier approached it. And this morning a tern was flying off the Tongaririo delta. The top photo is of a caspian at Rotoaira for comparison.
P1050185.JPG
Caspian tern at Rotoaira 05/05/18
P1050185.JPG (237.34 KiB) Viewed 575 times
P1050163 (2).JPG
Unidentified tern at Tokaanau 05/05/18
P1050163 (2).JPG (54.44 KiB) Viewed 575 times
P1050164 (2).JPG
Unidentified tern at Tokaanu 05/05/18
P1050164 (2).JPG (67.11 KiB) Viewed 575 times
Last edited by Jim Kirker on Wed May 09, 2018 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Davidthomas
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Unidentified Tern at Tokaanu

Postby Davidthomas » Tue May 08, 2018 9:08 pm

The whiskered tern in non breeding plumage perhaps?


Other devils advocate option was a blackbilled Gull.
Jim Kirker
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Re: Unidentified Tern at Tokaanu

Postby Jim Kirker » Tue May 08, 2018 10:44 pm

Yes, I wondered about blackbilled gull this morning when I saw the them soaring and gliding off the new wharf. I was hoping for the whiskered tern so hugely biased :)
User avatar
sav
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am
Location: Havelock North
Contact:

Re: Unidentified Tern at Tokaanu

Postby sav » Wed May 09, 2018 11:37 am

Hey Jim,

I think David is right. Black-billed Gull looks favourite to me.

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders

Return to “General Birding Discussion”