These were our destinations on third day at Ashmore Reef. This is the island where the terns usually live and breed. With 24,000 Sooty Terns and plenty of Bridled Terns on West Island, we wondered if there would be any left there!
The usual photogenic dawn.
As The Pig came into shore at Middle Island, Rohan Clarke yelled out, "Quick. Give me the binoculars". In the huge number of Sooty and Bridled Terns, Boobies and Lesser Frigatebirds spiralling in the updraft above the island, a "white tropicbird" was re-identified as a leucistic frigatebird, This was a mega find and many, many photos were taken. It was a star bird of the trip. We named him/her "Snowflake".
|"Snowflake" Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel|
|Great Frigatebird, female Frigate minor|
|Lesser Frigatebird, male Fregata ariel|
|One Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus amongst a scattering|
of Sanderling Calidris alba with
a Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa breviceps,
a Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus and
the asiatic race of the Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica affinis