The Black-fronted Tern

IMG_7294-blog1Sunday saw the first frost of the season on our back lawn but with it the promise of a gloriously sunny day.  Having already slept in a couple of hours more than usual it was a quick breakfast and shower before heading off to make the most of the sunshine. We flitted from one spot to another throughout the day but one of our stops was Plimmerton by the fire station where the terns usually hang out.  I had timed it right because they were in fact there in small numbers and they let me get reasonably close to photograph them.IMG_7312-blog1In the past I had just looked at the terns and thought they were all the same species, but when a friend found a different tern amongst the rest in one of his shots from Scorching Bay, I decided to have a closer look myself.  Sure enough there were two distinct species of tern in this flock.  It was almost a 40/60 split between white-fronted terns and black-fronted terns.  What’s more there were both immature and adult black-fronted terns there, and even a few in their breeding colours still. I was pleased to be able to add them to my list of birds I have photographed, so today they have the blog!IMG_7182-blog1The black-fronted terns differ from the white-fronted terns by having firstly the black front to their head when in full breeding colours, and by their orange beak and feet.  I like the little black tips to their claws, almost like they are wearing nail polish 🙂  In this last image you can see one adult black-fronted tern alongside to white-fronted terns clearly showing the difference.IMG_7328-blog1

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