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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

White-winged Black Tern

White-winged Black Tern (Image ID 45645)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Wed 7th Apr, 2021 and uploaded on Fri 9th Apr, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1080
Viewed122
ID45645
CommentThe sky above Lake Borrie was a scene of aerial acrobatics by huge numbers of Welcome Swallows and Fairy Martins swooping and diving and wheeling in the midst of a feeding frenzy on the large juicy mosquitoes swarming above the waters. In amongst all this action, I suddenly noticed a very different bird joining in all the fun, with black head and body, grey white wings, and dark edges. Later checking with my bird guide, it would seem to be none other than a White-Winged Black Tern readying itself for its annual migration north to Asia around this time of year by (a) donning its breeding plumage of totally black head and back, black linings to wings, and white tail, and (b) fattening itself up on the juicy mosquito offerings at Lake Borrie. As Birdlife Australia’s profile of this bird notes, White-Winged Black Terns “may show breeding colours before departure in April-May” and “may exploit rich local food sources before departure”. Its slightly mottled black head suggests it is still in the process of acquiring its breeding plumage. Another stunningly beautiful visitor from afar for whom it is time to say goodbye until next spring.
EquipmentNikon Z7ii, Nikon 300mm PF f420, Nikon TC1.4 420mm ISO 1000 1/5000th f5.6
LocationWestern Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Keywordsin flight, adult, breeding plumage/features
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