Images of the Royal Tern seen yesterday in Wales are on the UK and Ireland stop press, but can anyone tell me why this bird, presumably the same as the Irish bird, is being called 'African' - the race albididorsalis? I could find numerous images with the same bill size and structure - see http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=royal+tern and http://search.pbase.com/search?q=roy...ch+Photos&c=sp
I noted this comment from the UK400 website, 'Interestingly, the bird is in full breeding plumage and lacking any reddish-orange tones of typical American Royal Tern. The bird also has four retained dark outer primary feathers, rather than 6-7 which is typical of maxima. Furthermore, American Royal has a much deeper bill base in average. Therefore, to be an ART it is anomalous in many respects of its plumage so African Royal Tern (albididorsalis) is the most likely explanation.'
Many of the images in the two links above that have a moult contrast in the primaries, show 5+ in the US (maxima) and how relevant is the lack of a red hue? Anyone in the States fill me in on this?