Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Help identify this bird

Yesterday, (just before a storm) while birding at Modimola Dam; enjoying the parade of Whiskered Terns up and down the dam, Egrets and Ruffs taking on each other over a patch of dry a spot.
 I spotted  the bird in the image below in a group of Curlew Sandpipers. At first, I thought it was one of the Ruffs by just scanning at its plumage. 
On second look, the black head turned out to be  a mystery. I also thought maybe it was a juvenile of a Whiskered Tern. 
Please, help in identifying this bird. 
The black bill and the head from the side

The head from the back

The neck and the chest all white and the back plumage grey to brown

I mistakenly thought it was a Ruff by its plumage. But, then the head was that of a Tern.
Now, if it was a Tern then it must have been a juvenile one. Which Tern or what bird could this have been?
In a matter of minutes the bird was gone but I managed to take some few shots of it.


  1. Looks like juvenile White-winged Tern

  2. I would say juvenile Whiskered Tern as White-winged doesn't breed here and the visiting birds would be in a later plumage as they'll be heading off in April.