This post is for World Bird Wednesday.
Sometimes it's not the quality of the photo that counts but the fact of a photo record at all!
I was out at Inskip Point last week photographing shorebirds and rather as an after thought I turned around to photograph some of the Terns. There were four kinds there - Caspian, Crested, Common, and Little Terns - and I wanted some record shots. One of the birds I photographed was a Little Tern with a lot of breeding plumage and even a beak that was yellow with the black dot at the end. This didn't make sense to me at this time of year so I sent the photos on to an expert in Terns and the word came back that I had photographed one of the endangered Australian Little Terns on its way north to breeding grounds.
We see lots of Little Terns here but they are the population that breeds in Asia and flies south to spend summer here. The population of Australian Little Terns only migrates within Australia. Unfortunately they are having a hard time breeding successfully as the beaches they use are also used widely by humans, and dogs, and (south of here) introduced foxes.
Inskip Point is recognized as an important shorebird roost but finding an endangered Little Tern there makes it even more important.
Added Later: After a number of comments I thought I should add that there are laws here in Australia (as well) protecting nesting shorebirds. Also there are volunteers that do their best to protect Tern nesting sites. Unfortunately, it only takes one careless person with a dog off-leash! There is also a problem with enforcement of "no-go" areas. Unless there is a ranger with legal powers some few ignore signage! Sometimes I despair!!