A quick check on the status of the colony
What is the status on the Common Tern colony? That was the question I had in mind when I drove out to the archipelago of Gothenburg this morning. I don´t know for how long they have been incubating the eggs, but it can´t be that much longer before the eggs hatch. That is what I thought and why I felt a need to check the status on the colony. I also wanted to investigate where the Terns fish and if I could use another approach to the colony.
The other approach would hopefully mean I could photo a little longer in the evening with the light coming from the right direction. I also saw Terns fish around this place the first time there so I had a good feeling about the spot.
The sky was grey when I got there and some clouds seemed heavy with rain. I parked the car at my special place, grabbed the gear and walked towards the colony. I heard more noise than last time and soon discovered that the colony was up in the air, probably startled by something.
The new approach is more open and it didn´t take long before they saw me. This meant it would be fruitless to continue so I tracked back to let them settle before I approached once more and this time I used the “safer” approach.
The colony did see me, but I quickly vanished from their watchful eyes as I pulled the bag hide over my head as I sat down at the water’s edge. This really worked like a charm and I soon felt how everything went back to its normal routine at the colony. I could now setup the gear, and this time I had brought the monopod as it is essential to use a tripod or monopod with the bag hide, and start taking photos.
I quickly discovered that there were no chicks in the colony so it might be another 10 days, at the most, before the chicks are out. I suppose there will be a great deal of interaction between the parents and the chicks, but also between the bigger Herring Gulls and Black-backed Gull that was watching the colony.
I sat there for more than an hour trying to get a grip of how to work under the bag hide. It was my first long period under the hide and it did work alright even if the fabric didn´t move as I wanted when I panned the camera. Still I got a few nice photos and this is the one I like the most.
What I like about this picture is actually the background, a colorful skerry. The Tern is flying away from the colony towards the main hunting ground that seemed to be at a completely different place than I had hoped for. I like the typical Tern pose with the long wings and the long tail that is acting as a rudder.
I hope the time I spent at the colony this morning will increase the chances to get the interaction photos next time.
When I left I thought the day was over, but when I passed Gasklockan I saw something strange. I Dove was sitting on top of a street light and just next to the Dove there was a Peregrine Falcon. It was sitting just a few meters above the ground and that is a rare sight. I couldn´t make u-turn so I had to drive a kilometer before I turned and headed back.
I crossed my fingers, when I walked the 100 meters from where I parked the car until I could see the street light that the Falcon still would be there with the Dove by its side, but that wasn’t to be. Still it felt good to have seen it and as I walked towards the car I could hear a clearly disturbed Crow. I glanced upwards and there the Peregrine Falcon came gliding. I raised the camera and took a sequence of photos.
This is by no means a great Peregrine Falcon photo, but I always appreciate the time I get with this agile raptor.
I will check the colony again during the end of next week to see if something have happened. I also know that it will take around three weeks for the chicks to fledge so there will be plenty of time for me to get the desired photos.