[EXTERNAL] Re: [sbcobirding] Black Tern yesterday

Nick Lethaby <nlethaby@...>

I think I looked into this last year and found that these rusty buff fringes are diagnostic of juveniles and would not be shown by adults/second year birds at any stage. The SYR birds (or at least one of them) also showed fairly obscure rusty-buff fringes.


From: [] On Behalf Of Mark Holmgren
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 3:49 PM
To: joanlentz@...
Cc: Sbcobirding;
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [sbcobirding] Black Tern yesterday


Hi Joan,
Thanks for posting this. I am at the corner of Foothill Rd X Highway 33 where I briefly have Internet.

I think you’re probably right that it was a juvenile but if your time allows take a look at some of the photos of other juveniles. Some of those have many more extensive and more extensively distributed pale fringes. If our bird was a hatchling this year, then on this date it should show fringes all over the place.  That is what confused me. Mark Bright’s killer photo shows those fringes more or less restricted to the rear end of the bird. So is there another explanation for those?
Just for conversations sake, the man on the beach was trying to photograph his little daughter while she scared the birds. It felt really good that they responded.

95F here. Starting to head up to SB Potrero where I’ll meet Elihu and Steve Junak. Elihu loaned me a forest key. 

Adult SwHawks were screaming when I passed by Quatal Cyn Rd. Did you know that El Peepero found and photo’d 2 fledglings yesterday?  I did not see them today.

Take care till we bird again!


On Jul 31, 2019, at 2:38 PM, Joan Lentz via Groups.Io <joanlentz@...> wrote:

Hi All:

            Yesterday Mark Holmgren & I did a little birding in the morning.  We began at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.  Here, there was a lot of bark being dumped on various areas, most of which we were able to avoid.  We walked along the north side of the lake, stopping at all the platforms.  There’s very little shoreline this year, and the shallow area near the northwest corner is still almost completely covered.  Our best find was a freshly fledged group of six tiny ducklings, being guarded by the adult Ruddy Duck pair to which they belonged. Also, we saw several Great-tailed Grackle adults carrying food purposefully towards the northwest corner of the Refuge to vegetation which bordered the Zoo property.  Mark felt this was a breeding record.

            Then we went to the base of Garden St. next to the skateboard park.  If you leave the car there, walk west towards Mission Creek outfall.  You need a scope, but you can set up on the berm of sand that’s nearby the bike path, & you have a great view of the place: tons of waterbirds of all kinds gathered around this little lagoon!  We were amazed at the large numbers of Long-billed Curlews, Whimbrels, Willets, 33 Black Skimmers, a couple of Elegant Terns — but here you are with this great birding place right in the middle of downtown.  Mark H actually shouted at a man who was scaring the birds up so he could take a photo.  And….he stopped flushing the birds.  That place needs some interpretive signs!

            The Black Tern was a surprise, but anything could drop in there.  Also, having looked at John Callender’s & Mark Bright's excellent photos, I do believe that the bird was a juvenile. 

            Good birding!

         Joan Lentz





Joan Lentz

Santa Barbara

Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA