Forsters Terns, Huntington Beach State Park

To every thing
Tern! Tern! Tern!
There is a season
Tern! Tern! Tern!
And a time for every purpose under Heaven.
The Byrds, 1965

Inspired by this song, I’ve been waiting all these years to get photos of terns.  In mid-March, the Forsters terns at  Huntington Beach State Park finally gave me the opportunity I needed. As the terns flew back and forth over the water, looking for their next meal, they would occasionally stop and hover, before diving to make their catch.  Better yet, they would sometimes do this relatively close to shore, with the sun at least not directly in my eyes.

When I saw what a variety of wing positions had been captured, I was further inspired to make captions about voting, umpiring, bombing, blood-sucking, and taking off, eh?

Note that these birds do have eyes: You just can’t see them in my photos.

Forsters tern with wings angled upwards.
The “Ayes” have it.
Forsters tern with wings spread sideways and down
Oh, no, it’s the “Nays.”
Forsters tern with wings spread horizontally in baseball umpire signal for "Safe."
Forsters tern with wings straight up, over head
Forsters tern, caught almost vertical with wings spread
Coming in for my strafing run, outta the sun . . .
Forsters tern with wings hunched like Dracula's cape
I vant to drink your blood.
Forsters tern flying away from camera
That’s it, I’m outta here.

It was amazingly difficult to get sharp photos of these little guys.  The only saving grace was the good light, which allowed me to use a fast shutter speed. This is my best shot, I think, but I also think I’m not done with terns yet.

Side view od Forsters tern, wings spread over head



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