Sighting of a flagged Gull-billed Tern

Sighting of a flagged Gull-billed Tern

Band Number: 06303405 (engraved flag Z5)
Date of banding: 10/11/2008
Age of bird when banded: 2+
Locode: 800001 (Beaches, Crab Ck Rd, Roebuck Bay, Broome)

One Gull-billed Tern was sighted by Yu Yat Tung at: Mai Po Marshes, Hong Kong (China) 22deg 29min 0sec N, 114deg 2min 0sec E on 18/04/2009 with flag(s) as follows:

      LEFT leg: nothing/unknown on tibia (upper leg) above nothing/unknown on tarsus
      RIGHT leg: nothing on tibia (upper leg) above yellow engraved flag on tarsus

This bird was flagged Beaches, Crab Ck Rd, Roebuck Bay, Broome, approximate co-ordinates 18deg 0min S, 122deg 22min E, which uses the flag combination Yellow Engraved, on 10/11/2008.

The resighting was a distance of approximately 4593 km, with a bearing of 348 degrees, from the marking location.

Plumage  described as: Breeding.

No previous resightings.

Yu Yat Tung   

The first sightings of a Gull-billed Tern flagged in Australia and seen overseas - in fact, first direct evidence of migratory movements by this species. Clive notes: "It really is wonderfully exciting for us. It is the first flagged or banded Gull-billed Tern report we have received from outside Australia. We knew that some of the birds here were the affinis race, which comes from Asia, because they are very much smaller than the macrotarsus race which breeds in Australia. We have caught and banded and flagged several hundred GBTs over the years and about 20% of these have been affinis. We also see them departing in small flocks in March and April from northwest Australia at the same time as various waders are leaving on northward migration. It is really nice to have proof now that some of our birds do come from the Northern Hemisphere.

All our data on Gull-billed Terns in northwest Australia was published in a paper in the Birds Australia journal "Emu" in 2005 (Volume 105, pages
145-158) "Gull-billed Terns in northwestern Australia; subspecies identification, moults and behavioural notes. Rogers et al (five joint authors)."

[ Last edited by yyattung at 8/07/2009 12:12 ]


It is actually not the first record for Hong Kong. ... ull%2Bbilled%2Btern