One of THE most fascinating things about watching birds during the breeding season… is to see the coloring and feathering of the chicks as they become more and more like their parents.
This summer has been really different for me – documenting a Piping Plover family, then an Osprey family with the camera.
Such new experiences, rewarding beyond words to describe.
In any case, I guess I hadn’t realized just how much time had passed since I’d checked in on the Least Terns down at Red River.
And when I arrived at the creek, the sky was filled with newly fledged tern young ‘uns and their prouder-than-proud parents, woo HOO!!
But the joy of watching the interactions between these proud terns and their kids sure filled my world with more than a little sunshine.
I love watching the tiny Least Terns during their courtship rituals as they hover over the water.
Then quickly DIVE for tiny fish to bring to their mates who wait for them onshore.
Their movements are quick, often changing on a dime.
Someday I’ll have the camera that captures these amazing moments but for now…
So I’m going out on a limb sharing these next photos of the diving terns with you.
I hope you can feel the incredible drama of this amazing fishing drama!
It’s amazing what these birds DO!! ❤
So many of my new bird discoveries seem to happen when I am searching for something else.
About two weeks back, I was scanning the beach for the Piping Plover chicks down at Red River Beach.
Stretching my legs after a long squat, I noticed up the shore a small group of terns had come in for a landing.
Our smallest terns, the Leasts measure only about 8 or 9 inches and have yellow bills and legs as compared to the Common Terns that measure 12-15 inches and have red bills and legs (and differently shaped black face masks).
But I had never seen one up close before.
One pair that was nearest to me, didn’t seem to mind me staring.
This pair was engaged in the loveliest series of movements that I could only describe as a “dance”.
But also appeared to be attracting a crowd… 😉
Was it something I said?
And this time, with a delicious sushi picnic!
Now the terns have joined the mix.
I love mornings at Ridgevale Beach.
For the light.
For the birds I find there.
Some flying low over the tidal flats…
Complete with twinkling stars on shimmering blue.
As we see the humidity of our Cape summer season slowly recede like the tide, I wanted to be sure to share a couple of images of the amazing terns I have seen this summer.
The first was a surprise, from an early summer morning at Mill Landing.
Perched on a buoy, this darling fellow looked so deep in thought. The water, smooth as glass.
My second tern was an even bigger surprise. One morning I was busy photographing a flock of gulls at Forest Beach, and I noticed that something was perched, once again, on a buoy pretty far out from shore.
I figured it was a gull, perhaps a cormorant, and quickly zoomed in.
It wasn’t until I got home and popped the pics into Photoshop that I saw who the Mystery Visitor was!
These characters always seem to be flying at quick, darting speeds, or perched somewhere far in the distance. With my limited camera (and technical expertise) I hope you’ll bear with my edits, I did my best!
Vive les sternes! 😉