Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Little Surprise

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Last month I took the dogs for a walk along the beach and came across a Little Tern breeding area. Since then I have been busy with my graduation and going to Morocco, so apologies for the extremely late post.

These Little Terns were spread out all over the beach. There was a large section cornered off where they were breeding but the chicks had just fledged and started wondering around. Everywhere you looked you could see a little camouflaged tern hiding in the sand. Below is one of them running towards me, its mum was hovering above me with a fish.

Happy Little Tern chick

The adult Little Terns could be seen fishing in large quantities, diving into the water and catching sand eels.

Adult Little Tern
Below are a series of images showing the process of the adult terns feeding their young.

Little Tern calling for food

Adult Little Tern returning to its chick with a fish

Little Tern calling for food
Little Tern calling for food

Little Tern watching adults with fish
Little Tern chick receiving a Sand Eel

Little Tern chick trying to eat a Sand Eel

It was a great experience and Norfolk is a key location for the future of these birds, as it holds one of the last colonies of breeding birds. The Little Tern is currently on the Amber List, so it's important to protect their habitat and their breeding grounds around the Norfolk coast.

Sadly when I was photographing here, a couple walking their dogs didn't listen to all the signs saying 'Keep dogs on their leads, due to breeding area.' Consequently their dogs attacked and killed a chick, which was trying to hide in the sand, waiting for its mother. Needless to say I went mental and shouted continuously at them for a awhile, until they put their dogs on the leads and left. So please listen to the signs people, they are there for a reason.

Little Tern fishing at sunrise.
  • Always take your camera, wherever you go. You never know what you will see.
  • Be patient and let the birds get use to your presence. You will be able to get a lot closer.
  • Try and concentrate on one bird, when photographing a large flock it's easy to get distracted by others and miss the shot you have been waiting for. This happened a number of times.

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