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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Keerik, sip-sip-sip, and splash!

Today, Elegant Terns were once again a feature of Tomales Bay.  You could see and hear them just about everywhere and many were actively fishing.  

I've always been impressed with the plunge-diving abilities of terns.  Here's a series of photos showing the process — a fly-by, hovering and searching, the point, the plunge, the splash, and catching a fish.

Many adult terns were still feeding young.  In the foreground of the photo below, there's a juvenile on the left and an adult on the right.

If you haven't yet heard Elegant Terns, here's a recording made in White Gulch on Point Reyes today.  With relatively high walls on three sides, White Gulch has wonderful acoustics.  We landed our boat on a small sandbar and recorded this flock of terns as they circled and fed in the shallows nearby.  Listen for the two-syllable keerik call of the adult terns and the sip-sip-sip begging calls of the juveniles.  If you listen carefully, you can also hear two terns plunging into the water (at ~21 seconds and 26 seconds).

elegant tern by nhbh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very nice - photos and recording - that happens so fast i can't believe you caught that in still shots !! c