Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Rye for a Sandwich.


Last weekend, during a very early morning visit to Rye Harbour N.R. on another sunny but extremely windy day, I appeared to be the only occupant on this extensive shingle foreshore. With high tide many hours away the peace and quiet was regularly interrupted by the distinctive, loud, grating 'kerrick ... kerrick' calls of one of the nesting Tern species as they headed offshore to hunt for a meal. I don't profess to be particularly adept at photographing white birds in flight ...... it is definitely a challenge .... but with time on my hands I felt it was worth waiting to see what might be possible. 
 
Initial shots were like the one above with the birds returning from fishing but all too distant for the lens.... but eventually my luck changed as a few flew nearly directly overhead. However they constantly decided to either jink left or right before disappearing at an alarming rate of knots towards their nesting colonies on the adjacent inland pools. My patience was wearing a little thin but after trying numerous different settings .... success.  

 Sandwich Tern (Sternus sandvicensis) carrying a fishy meal.
[Shot at 1/1600; f.11; ISO 400 @ 130mm]

Not easy to pick out its distinct features from below but the complete black cap combined with the yellow tip on the long narrow black bill plus the large wingspan (typically 85 - 97cm) clearly says this is an adult in its full summer plumage. 

This side on shot of another individual clearly shows the darker outer primaries ... this wedge shape will eventually darken with wear. The partial white forehead indicates that this is an adult but still showing signs of its winter plumage.  FAB.

Check out WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY for more glorious images from around the globe.

31 comments:

  1. Cool shots of the Tern in flight holding its catch.

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  2. Some really great Tern shots Frank.

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  3. you did great!!! great catches (the tern and you both!)

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  4. Wonderful photos. Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Hi there - splendid final shot, I wonder how hard it would have been to have got a shot like that when we had to count the cost of each slide we took!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  6. Oh my gosh, Frank, these are fabulous in-flight shots! And with a fish in his bill is an added bonus. Great camera work!

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  7. Hi Frank...I am happy your patiences held together together,because you have some wonderful photos of Sandwich Tern!!

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  8. Those flight shots are amazing!

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  9. Lovely shots Frank, perseverance paid off in the end! lol.

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  10. Great shots Frank, Yes these are a real challenge to Photograph and patience is defintely an asset.
    Glad to see it was so well rewarded.

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  11. Great action shots. Beautiful.

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  12. Brilliant photos Frank. You seem to have mastered what I consider to be the hardest aspect of bird photography. Nice one.

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  13. I, for one, am glad you were patient!! What incredible shots! All I can say is, "Wow!" I'll just have to try harder! ~karen

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  14. Fabulous post, Frank! Your photos are superb.
    Greetings:)

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  15. Good action shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  16. Wonderful photos Frank, well done!! A real bonus with the fish :)

    What great captures of the GSWs on the earlier post too. It must have been lovely to spend time watching them.

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  17. Stunning shots!! Even the fish in the beak is sharp as a tack! Xcellent

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  18. Great images Frank...I love the flight shots.
    Im off to see Terns this weekend on Anglesey.

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  19. Great in-flight photos of the Terns.

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  20. BRILLIANT, beautiful Sandwich Tern Frank.

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  21. Smashing photos! I found your settings very interesting, thanks for including them. Lucky for us you stuck it out and got these hard fought in flight takes. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. You got some good stuff there Frank, you must have been hungry thats a long way to go for a sandwich.

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  23. Nice detail on those flight shots.I'd be very happy if I could get flight shots like that.

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  24. Thanks for all your comments on the flying Tern. There will be a few more images of other species seen that day coming up very soon. FAB.

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  25. Wonderful shots of the terns!

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  26. Thank you Pat. Testing but rewarding.

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  27. Wow! Just wonderful! Well worth the wait!

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