Friday, September 4, 2009

Crested Terns

There was quite a large flock of Crested Terns roosting out on a sandbank at Inskip the other day. Low tide was a bit after mid-day and these birds had apparently had time to go out to sea and fish then come in again for a bit of a rest before some more fishing later in the afternoon. (click to see a larger image showing the extent of the flock.)
Breeding season is around Christmas/New Year and so most of these birds were still looking a bit scruffy in only partial breeding plumage. This one, however, was one of a few in nearly complete breeding plumage.
I always think terns look best when they are in flight or when they have their wings raised and are about to fly off. It is also the easiest time to see how the wing moult is progressing. As far as I can see these have the final primary feather just growing back or else are just about to moult the last one. (This post is part of Bird Photography Weekly)

8 comments:

  1. Nice series of pics Mick. Partically like the last shot.
    Estimate of no's...500+ ?

    Have a great weekend. FAB

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  2. Hi Frank - these big flocks are tricky. I took closer photos of this flock and will eventually crop them into a panorama - then section it off and get a proper count. At present I have only done a rough count - and I've come up with over 700. Done properly these photo counts can be very accurate. re the week-end - it's raining! The first for two months so that's great!!

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  3. Beautiful captures of the Crested Terns Mick! Looks like you have some counting to do ;-) I also love that last shot of the Tern with the wings almost straight up. Nicely done!

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  4. Wow, that's a HUGE flock! What a great series of photos, Mick. I'm not too familiar with terns myself, but I hope to change that later this month when I'll be spending some time birding on Lake Erie. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thanks Heather. I hope you get to see lots of waterbirds on the lake.

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  6. Amazing number of terns, Mick! Great shots of individuals (and the group, too)!

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  7. Lovely series Mick. I really like the extended wings.

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