Monday, 13 September 2010

A Good Tern At Earlswood

Friday night ended up being a late one, with the highlight being seeing a local barn owl hopping into a puddle on a country road, lit up in my headlights. Good to know they're around the area, even if I can't seem to find them when it's light. So Saturday morning started with a lie in, and the miserable weather outside meant I didn't feel guilty about not being out and about.

As the clouds lifted, I opted to take the short drive over to Earlswood Lakes, to see if I could spot the black terns that had been there for a couple of days. I ought to go here more often as there is always plenty to see, though folks used to give me strange looks when I wandered around with the 100-400mm lens, so gawd knows what they'd think of this bazooka I carry around these days!

Climbing to the top of the steps, I soon located the terns, and after walking to one side, I opted to walk back to the other side where despite the sun being sort of in the wrong place, the birds were generally much closer. A red buoy also seemed to make a good perch for one of the birds, while the others fished.

Within moments of me getting set up though, the local boating club came out in force, and started sailing around everywhere, which must have infuriated the fishermen (I think there was a contest on too) as well as me, as they kept making all the birds take flight. I had to laugh though, as one couple tried to change direction in their dinghy, and got it very wrong, resulting in the chap taking an early bath...

After taking a few more shots of the terns, I had decided to head elsewhere, as getting flight shots wasn't easy with the big lens, but as I trudged back along the causeway to the car, I spotted the unmistakable "march" of Max, heading towards me. He'd also come to see the terns, after the midday footie had failed to grasp his interest, so I walked back to show him the best place to get shots from. And as I was there, I bagged a few more, only this time I made the effort to get the 100-400mm out and try for some flight shots.

The effort of tracking these agile flyers soon took its toll on Max, who said he'd got enough rubbish shots and we both walked back along the path, only to find it blocked by a juvenile heron, who didn't bat an eyelid as we approached. With the dark background, I took some portrait shots of the bird, which eventually strolled off along the path, squirting out what it thought of us as it left!

I ended the day by dropping into the North Moors, though the only bird of note was a hobby, and that was rather distant.

1 comment:

Max Silverman said...

Ggreat shots Pete.I had more throwaway shots than ever before of the Terns in flight.They are tricky chaps to get.