Mohamed had seen eight birds in July 2012, so roll on to 25th July 2013 and a group of nine of us arrived at the site with Mohamed. After getting onto the sand bar, we were immediately greeted by rather squawky calls, very distinct from the Little Tern calls I'd heard on the beach at Rye a couple of weeks back. In fact, it was obvious that the birds we had just found were on territory. Within minutes, after taking many shots and sound recordings, every single feature of these birds was in line with what you would expect for Saunder's Tern.
|Saunder's Tern, adult, Egypt July 2013 - note the squared off forehead patch with the eye solidly behind it, the extensively dark-tipped bill, three black outer primaries with obvious black primary shafts on the underwing|
|Saunder's Tern, adult, Egypt July 2013 - this photo shows the concolourous mantle, rump and tail nicely. Also note the active primary moult|
|Saunder's Tern, adult, Egypt July 2013 - showing the concolourous mantle, rump and tail despite the harsh light conditions|
|Saunder's Tern, adult, Egypt July 2013 - again note the shape of square shape of the forehead patch (compared to Little Tern which tapers off behind the eye), dark-tipped bill and dark under primaries|
|Saunder's Tern, juvenile/1st-winter, Egypt July 2013|