Regular readers of this blog will realize that I enjoy going out to Inskip Point. There is always something to watch out there - whether it is a boat leaving early in the morning and slowly moving up the Strait...
...or simply the barge waiting at the end of the spit for vehicles to take over to Fraser Island.
Of course there are always some birds - even if often they are over on the sand island where it is impossible to get more than a distant photo of them. The other morning I could see numbers of terns over there. Their white color showed up well against the darker color of the shorebirds.
It was early in the morning and suddenly they all took off and headed out to sea where they would fish for most of the day. As soon as they flew over I could see that most of this flock were Common Terns (Sterna hirundo). They are one of the migratory terns which come down here for the summer. The ones we commonly see are Sterna hirundo longipennis - the more common European form is rarely sighted. Common Terns breed up in Asia and they will soon be leaving here.
I was intent on getting photos as they flew down the channel between the spit and Fraser Island and then I realized that it was a very big flock and I would need to zoom right out to get any idea at all of the extent of the flock. Even then I only got about half of the flock. (Click on the photo to see a much larger view and to see the terns as more than tiny black dots!)
As the main flock flew over a few came down and joined a mixed flock that were roosting on the spit.
Even these did not stay long as the barge and more traffic disturbed them.