8 June 2015

England 2015 #1




There is now a colony of Common Terns on the marina in Preston..............




They started nesting only 4 (?) years ago and now there are apparently over 150 pairs...........

Some individuals were ringed, one birder there told me some birds had come all the way from Cape Town.



Terns are birds I rarely see in Hokkaido. I've seen 3 rare/vagrant species (one time each) and Common Tern only on passage, not often and usually a bit offshore. The Common Terns of the Pacific don't have the red bills of the Atlantic ones though.

A local birding group has left out nestboxes for them................on some concrete slabs in the marina (what are they called? Pontoons? Or something else entirely?)





Therse shots are from over 2 weeks ago, they had only recently arrived. Males were bringing in fish for the females as a kind of seafood themed courtship....................




Sometimes they dropped them................


They offered them to the females.............


Who sometimes were not interested...............






Sometimes they just stood about with the fish..................waiting.







Or even stood around sans fish..............






Forgive the deluge of tern photos, as I said they are birds I rarely see let alone photograph in Japan.

This female must have liked the fish she was brought.................


Last time I was in the Marina was in late 2010 and it was frozen solid.................and I was watching an Iceland Gull.

I took lots of BIFs but at the height and angle the terns approached it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped (or my technique wasn't up to scratch), my old 7D/100-400 combo did a lot of focus hunting too.







There a few Arctic Terns too but they were in the middle of the colony and too far away for any photos.

This must be a great place when the youing hatch...............but at least I got to see the adults up nice and close in full breeding plumage.

12 comments:

  1. A fine set of pictures Stu. As good if not better than many I've seen and there are plenty of tem.

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    1. Thanks Phil, I visited this place a few times whilst I was back in the UK, very nice birds to have in town...............

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  2. Goodness me Stu, things are looking up, marina eh? it used to be called "the docks" ;-)

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    1. Don't know the last time you were there Derek but, yes, it had some very posh boats moored, was surrounded by what appear to be pretty nice apartments and not a crane or container in sight. I guess you could still call it 'the old docks' if you prefer!

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  3. Nest boxes for terns is a new concept to me but it seems like a great idea. Really nice series of pictures.

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    1. Thanks for the comment David..............

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    1. Thanks for the comment Wilma............

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  5. Nice photos..I haven't been to Preston since about 1969, but I must the idea of a "Marina" came as a surprise.

    I think the AF on almost any camera is easily distracted by waves on water, must the the hard contrasts or something.

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    1. Hi John, they were definitely docks back in '69................nothing as fancy as marinas in Lancashire at that time.........

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  6. Wonderful pictures! Looks like a nice place.

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    1. Thanks Russell, it is a lot nicer there than it used to be (it was a big dockside before)

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