Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Common Tern - Juvenile

 In June 2010 I was seeing my first Common Terns.  I was struck by how elegant, agile and beautiful they are, especially when feeding.  It was then that I photographed this adult Common Tern feeding around Conception Bay South.  I didn't get similar pictures this year.
However, I did get a chance to see a juvenile Common Tern this summer when on a long drive around the Southern Shore.  I was with two other birders and it was a first for all three of us when we spotted terns with a white spot on their head.  The adults in the area were very protective and would fly at us if we got too close. So, on that day there were no "keeper" pictures taken.
On a warm day in August when I went to Mundy Pond to see the Gadwall swimming in the lagoon, I did come upon several young Common Terns.  When I couldn't get a good look at the Gadwall from the trail, I ventured out to the island in the hopes of looking back to see the Gadwall. There was too much growth and water on the island to get to the edge for a good look.  All was not lost, however.  I went to the pond side of the island where I got amazing "looks" at an osprey feeding and then the young birder with me spotted a Common Tern feeding her young.  We edged closer to watch the ritual.  It was then that two juvenile Common Terns lifted off and flew right in front of us. 

These pictures clearly show the white patch on the front of the head that will change to black as the bird matures. 

There is a maxim of birding.  You may not see exactly what you are going to see but if you put yourself out there in typically "birdy" places, you will surely see something special.

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