A morning trip to the Gull and Tern colony
The forecast for Sunday morning was rain, but that wouldn´t hinder me checking in on the Common Tern colony in the archipelago. That was my thought when I went to sleep on Saturday.
I would lie if I say that I trust the weather providers, but I hoped for wet conditions as I think that would be a great add-on to the sunny pictures I have from the colony. So I really wasn´t surprised when the cat woke me up around 4 a.m. to clear skies and a rising sun. I rechecked the forecast that now had changed to sunny and a light overcast that would turn into rain in the afternoon. This didn´t hinder me in any way as these conditions could provide for interesting light, and I really wanted to see the status at the colony.
The biggest question was if there would be any chicks at the colony now?
Visiting the colony
I managed to get an hour more of sleep before the cat really woke me up. So an hour later I was in the car heading towards the coast. I checked the Peregrine Falcons at Gasklockan, but couldn´t see them. A quick stop at Fiskhamnen to see if the Glaucous Gull were there. No luck. I wondered if that would be the mantra of the day when I continued on my way?
Maybe not because I arrived just in time before the ferry closed the gates. I was last car onboard. Lucky me.
One could really feel the wind during the short trip over the strait. This could work to my advantage if the wind was coming in the right direction, but that I wouldn´t know before I got there.
It took probably 15-20 minutes from leaving the ferry until I got in place to begin. I managed to prepare everything before I approached the colony so I just had to find a good spot to sit and then pull the blind over my head. That worked like a charm and it almost felt like the colony settled quickly.
Strong winds in the archipelago>/h3>
The wind was blowing hard with the bag hide acting like fabric tend to do in those conditions. It made the session tough, but I still managed to bring home good material. It took me a while before I realized that both the Common Tern and the Black-headed Gull had chicks in the colony. At first I tried to focus on just the Terns in front of me, but sadly the parent that wasn´t with the chicks didn´t have any hunting luck. I just saw it come back with fish twice during the hour that I spent at the colony.
I even made a video as I often forget do this when I am away on workshops. Sadly I tend to forget this when I am at home. This is the family I had in front of me with one parent and three chicks.
Video: At the Common Tern colony
If I look at the pictures, then I’ll say that I actually managed to get a couple of really decent ones. The light was up and down and I had trouble with the bag hide acting like a sail. Still it feels like I am on the edge of blown-out parts in some pictures like this one.
I like this picture with the parent and one of the chicks calling for the other parent to bring home some goodies. It shows what the colony is all about at this moment in time. Raising the young and they need food. I have included a couple of food delivery pictures in the gallery and if you look at the last you will notice that the fish actually is missing its head.
The head was actually ripped off, the Tern in the air flew off with it, and you can notice a big drop falling down towards the ground from this decapitating of the fish.