Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 11, 2009

Newcastle Baths Bird Photography 091111

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:41 am

Newcastle Baths Bird Photography – 11th November, 2009.

Last night I saw a Twitter post about there being some Common Terns at Newcastle Baths. Technology can have its uses sometimes, it seems. So this morning I got up nice and early and headed for the Newcastle Baths to look for these Common Terns. The tide was a bit high I was thinking and was not real confident. But when I got to the rock shelf out the back of the baths, there they were, hanging out with the Crested Terns.

Common Tern
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

I took a few photos of them and slowly snuck up on them to get a bit closer. Then I saw about half a dozen Ruddy Turnstones in a little hollow in the rocks. They are really hard to see with their excellent camouflage. I took a few photos of the Ruddy Turnstones and then went over to the end of the canoe pool, where there were another couple of Ruddy Turnstones.

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

I also saw what I think was a Short-tailed Shearwater, but I am waiting for an identification confirmation on that. Edit: Yes they were Short-tailed Shearwaters. They were reported as being here, so I am thinking that they are. Well anyway that was about it for the day. I was going to have a look at Stony Point inside the harbour, near the breakwater, but it seemed there was nothing much there, so I went home. All in all, it was a good morning because there is a possible two one tick in it. 🙂 Here is some information I found about the Common Tern.

Common Tern
Scientific name: Sterna hirundo
Family: Laridae
Order: Charadriiformes

In Australia we see mainly the non-breeding Common Terns which have a white forehead and underparts and a black bill. The Common Tern has a deeply forked tail and is a medium-sized tern. The non-breedin Common Tern has a conspicuous Black cubital bar and a dusky secondary bar on the upperwing and a dusky wedge on the outer upperwing. The legs are black or black faintly tinged with red. They breed in the northern hemisphere. The subspecies occurring in Australia is predominantly Sterna hirundo longipennis.

Queensland Tern ID Chart



Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)

Australia: An Ecotraveler’s Guide


  1. Nice one Steve. Those Terns are so hard to get a decent photo of then they are in flight.

    Comment by myoung400 — November 11, 2009 @ 1:11 am

  2. Thanks mark,
    the still shots were not so great, so I had to go with the bif shot.. doh!
    This wasnt a tick after all, I had just forgotten i had photographed one last year or so..
    double doh!

    Comment by admin — November 11, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

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