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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Storyville – West Africa to Preston Dock!

'I wanna tell you a story...'

primarily in pictures, there aren't any award winning photos here but bear with me and hopefully I can make sense of this (that'll make a change then!).

It goes back over a few years when I first came across the Common Tern at Preston Dock, West Africa to Preston Dock... I ask you!

The male who appears to have started this colony was ringed at Doffcocker Lodge, Bolton on 14 June 2006 hasn't been seen so far this year. I have been down three or four times, mainly when the light was awful and aperture speeds just not fast enough, it started off with about 13 birds and last count was 23+, the plus because they are often mobile and keeping track isn't always easy, so 23 is a seen count with probable others.

It appears as if the birds have been flying off west down into the River Ribble but quite how far they are going is presently unknown to the author... so to the story in pics (not all photos taken on the same day, or same time), more posts on the same subject to follow a sthe story has moved on but I can't keep up!

returning home with the catch
landing with the catch, not always on the correct pontoon
can cause havoc
involves lots of posturing
and may involve another fly past
while others may be in the air on business or looking for a mugging
returning often attracts unwanted attention
more posturing with the mrs... (anyone know what the fish is?)
the male has the fish
results in a tug of war
which can last for sometime, all part of the bonding and courtship process
all the while the live fish in the middle of all this
whereupon the male gives in and the mrs gets her catch and
hopefully she wont have a headache later
while others take an interest
but nothing a common tern cant handle
he's just taking the proverbial
come back when your agile enough!
sun is so much better, included because I have never seen the
feet in this position before
and sometimes you get lucky


Pete Woodruff said...

It has to be said Geoff....some pretty good pics of the Common Terns, an excellent picture story.

Martin Jump said...

Brilliant story and images Geoff,just love the one taking the mick out of the blackheaded gull.Plenty more opportunities to come with better light.mj.

Paul Foster said...

Good account Geoff,enjoyed the tale!Might have to make a visit to see these interesting birds!!

Brian Rafferty said...

Geoff. I have been a couple of times..obviously missed you. Great place with endless action to keep us photographers busy. Nice account and images. Hopefully meet up soon.