Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's the Guillemot's tern

Had the opportunity to scout the Rostellan area the last day. My primary focus was the common blue population outside the quarry. Unfortunately the day had started overcast and there wasn’t so much as a speckled wood in sight. I was consoled by the presence of some actual birds. The following shots are for record purposes only and are about as good as my 200mm lens will allow, still a great day!

This distant gull turned out to be my old friend the Mediterranean gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus), the bill and white primaries give it away, along with the general shape. Still it seemed like it was worth confirming on facebook, thanks as always for the ID.

When did this gull stop being a Larus gull!?
Highlight of the day was a group of about ten terns actively hunting out on the open water. The frequent motion and screaming of terns gave me quite a spectacle. Especially when they divebomb into the water with a loud splash. I really do love terns.
These are Sandwhich terns, easy enough to identify by the yellow tip to its bill (Sterna/Thalasseus sandvicensis)
They remind me of fighter jets on an attack run
A fair few waders and waterbirds around too, flocks of tringas (green & redshank), a fair population of curlews, a few oystercatchers, scavenging turnstones, a couple of ringed plovers, some small sandpipers I couldn’t quite identify in time, shags, cormorants, little grebes, herring gulls, black headed gulls and these rather nice looking black tailed godwits, still sporting the attractive rust colours of summer plumage. The only duck I spotted was a couple of mallards.
Also, this guillemot (Uria aalge). Not entirely sure if this is a juvenile or an individual in winter plumage. Either way it seemed quite disoriented and actually swam towards me rather than away from me. Not exactly common behaviour amongst birds. It came to within a meter of me at one point before returning to deeper water.
I had never seen one up so close before, got to love its slightly pigeon like design
All in all, a morning to remember :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am just blog hopping around and found your blog. I love seeing different birds and scenes from around the world. I love this post and your photos. The closeup shots of the Guillemot are awesome and I always love the Terns! Great post!


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