I’m shooting within a five-mile radius these days, trying to get my photographic fix as I’m on my way to or from something else … on sunny days, interspersed with Seattle rain. Fortunately, within those five miles, there are three nesting Osprey couples, one Bald Eagle pair, many more Great Blue Herons in their rookery, and at least 300 Caspian Terns camping out on a local industrial rooftop. During low tides at my local cove, the Caspians stake out turf on the exposed sandbars, congregating, bathing, socializing, preening and bringing each other fish from the other end of Elliott Bay. So, today it’s about the terns again … just a few of my recent peeks into Caspian Tern culture.
If you watch terns in flight, you know this moment is a split second shake-off as the terns rise up and do a partial twist to free themselves of water droplets. Where I’m photographing them, their up-turn usually happens right in front of the busiest backgrounds (Port of Seattle), making focus tough at times. This particular turn did its twist against a more subtle backdrop.
Low tide on Elliott Bay provides temporary sand bars for big tern gatherings. This is a small section of the 200 or so Caspian Terns who were lazing on the beach this sunny day.
This Caspian Tern had just landed, offering up its catch of fish to what I assumed was his mate:
Just a shot of Caspian traffic — coming and going while terns bath in Elliott Bay below.
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