I did consider forster's. But the bird was looked bigger than a forster's, at least by little bit.
the bill is not the right shape for a Forster's. Forster's have a shorter bill, this one have a elongated, slender/skinny bill like what is expected of a elegant tern/ sandwich.
I dont think its the angle creating that look because on both pic its shows that. Also in the field that is one of the things that caught my eye (I have also observed that foresters have a slightly fast wing beat, and this one had smooth, but deep wing strokes, kind of like how there is a difference between crows wing beat vs a raven)
Top part of the face is covered by the wing so it is difficult to see it clearly on the given photos. But, I know that I did NOT observe a "eyepatch" on the bird on the field which would of pointed to a forster's. Which would of been pretty obvious to see.
I have posted the pictures on Facebook group ID groups. Few people have noted the tail is wrong for a forster's tern.
Few people with experience supporting possible sandwich.
I hope to hear from more birders with their thoughts:)
(even if it in privet email)
From: John Sterling <jsterling@...
To: dinuk magammana <dmagammana@...
Cc: dan_cooper_90042 <dan_cooper_90042@...
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Possible SANDWICH TERN, Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles Co.
I don't see why this is not a Forster's Tern
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
www.sterlingbirds.com (photos, classes, tours, county birding)
On Dec 29, 2012, at 2:52 PM, dinuk magammana <dmagammana@...> wrote:
>To add little more info if it helps.
>The bird was pretty big around the size of a elegant, it had a grayish shine to it. (it wasnt tiny like a foresters, or common)
>In the field the bill appeared to be black, but I did not see a yellow tip which is what making me hesitate. (The bird was little far away though.)
>Soon as I saw the slender black bill Sandwich tern was what popped into my mind. Sandwich tern would be a lifer, so I dont have much experiences to rely on, this is all based on what I saw.
>I did consider the possibility of Elegant, but like I said I didnt see any orange on the bill to support that. The light seems even, no harsh light to create strong shadows.
>When I got home, I added a
>lot of fill light to the photo to see if I could pick up any hints of orange/yellow on the bill. But only black was to be seen.
>Like Dan mentioned, the face/cap marking looks little strange. it doesnt match either bird.
>I was only able get 3 pictures with the bird showing. Only one picture is usable i guess.
>here is a link to the 3 pic.
> Maybe its a good bird maybe its a common bird. So comments are welcome.
>From: dan_cooper_90042 <dan_cooper_90042@...>
>Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 2:12 PM
>Subject: [CALBIRDS] Possible SANDWICH TERN, Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles Co.
>I was just sent photos (by local birder Dinuk Magammana) of a likely Sandwich Tern flying off Dockweiler Beach (just south of Playa del Rey, enter where Imperial Hwy. meets Vista del Mar and the bird was north of here). He thought it was near lifeguard station 49 but the bird was flying around and didn't stick.
>I haven't reviewed all the features but wanted to get the word out ASAP. Posted two poor shots in the "Mystery Birds" file. Appeared to be a large-ish tern with a long, all-dark bill, mostly black crown with bright white stripe above bill. I don't know the variation in bill color in Elegants (which are very rare right now locally). That this bird has retained breeding plumage is also weird.
>Places to check where terns congregate include the beach just south of Ballona Creek (south of the jetty), and upper Ballona Creek at low tide (enter McConnell, off Culver Blvd.).
>*Note, the L.A. CBC (which I compile) is tomorrow - would be great to get this thing, whatever it is.
>Ok, have a look. I'll check the link to make sure it's working.
>Oak Park, Ventura Co.
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