Thursday, 28 June 2018

Caspian Tern (Sterne caspienne)

     Those of you who read my blog regularly will recognize the name Franc Gorenc and know that Franc is a photographer sans pareil who acts as official photographer on our Tuesday Rambles, and unselfishly permits me to use his pictures in any way that I see fit. He never expresses any notion that he should have control over the output on the blog, never demurs at the finished product. His only stipulation is that his name appear on the picture; a more modest requirement I could not imagine.



     And so, while nominally dedicated to the Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), this post is no less an homage to Franc, a great friend, superb photographer and a generous soul - and if ever you go to his house, the best host (or maybe that title should go to Carol!)
     The other day Franc and I were reviewing the hundred or more pictures he had taken of Caspian Tern on our recent trip to Grindstone Creek. Normally Franc is ruthless in eliminating what he considers to be sub par results (most of us would think we had graduated from photography school!), but on this occasion there were so many excellent pictures that it would have been a travesty to discard many of them.
     By way of background I should point out that Caspian Tern is the world's largest tern, approaching the size of a medium sized gull. It breeds on all four Canadian Great Lakes. It flies with confidence, almost with a swagger, with shallow strong wingbeats and a majestic appearance. Its blood red bill gives it the demeanour of a bold pirate. It dives with speed, precision and accuracy.
     I am showing below two sequences captured by Franc that present remarkable images of this species in action. Few words are required from me. Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them for best results.











     In the third picture above the bird had banked out of its dive, having lost sight of the fish presumably, and powered upwards to resume its patrol.

     Here is another successful feeding foray.









     What a magnificent body of work, worthy of any textbook coverage of this species.
     I am sure you will wish to join me in congratulating Franc on superb results, and expressing your appreciation at being able to see them. Bravo Franc!

53 comments:

  1. Wow, amazing photos. Terns are hard to catch in photos. I try from our boat which isn't always good because the boat is often moving, but those terns react and move fast. Happy weekend-Erika

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, wow and wow.
    Stunning bird, and the photographs capture not only its beauty but its skill and athleticism.
    Thank you both. Bigly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello David,

    You made me flush with your commentary! I'm not sure If I really deserve such a praise. Perhaps I am a perfectionist or better put I want to send best possible pictures to you. I often drive you crazy because you have to wait several days to receive the pictures. I'm a RAW shooter so pictures need some work before they are ready for publishing. Sometimes I "touch" them up but not often. This time I did absolutely no Photoshop magic on these images.
    It makes me happy that there are so many positive critiques from around the world. We all enjoy going out in nature and I like to snap a shot of a nice bird when the opportunity presents.
    Thank you all and keep reading/enjoying this awesome blog.
    Franc Gorenc

    ReplyDelete
  4. Must be wonderful to have terns nearby like that........

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful photos! It's amazing how they dive. Thank you for sharing, David!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi David.

    Beautiful pictures of the Stern.

    This gentleman has made beautiful pictures.

    Groettie from Patricia.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, Franc is a passionate photographer with impact images.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hari om
    Outstanding!!! Bravo Franc. An 'Illustrated Antics of Avians' might be worth his producing, for he often captures candid moments! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi David,
    what a magnificent set of pictures. It covers all the action required to catch the fish; and they are sooooo beautiful. And it's so difficult to make such pictures.
    So yes, I like to compliment Franc for these superb results.
    I like also to compliment you for describing the tern so poetical. And thank you for showing us; it's a joy to look at this post.

    Best regards, Corrie

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stunning images - thank you so much for sharing. Franc is a very talented photographer.

    I am glad you would be able to get hold of a copy of the Tim Birkhead book when it comes out. I wish it was my birthday too - I may have to wait for the paperback to come out!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Really fun, I love the ones where he is in mid dive.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello, your friend Franc is a great photographer. The Caspian Tern photos are just amazing.
    I love all the terns, they are fun to watch! Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, this is nicely photographed David.
    Wonderful to see, well done.
    Greetings Tinie

    ReplyDelete
  14. A splendid tribute to a stunning bird, a remarkable and gifted photographer (who sounds like a nice guy, too) and to the art of patience, generosity and sharing. This is a beautiful post -- I've long admired and noticed Franc's name on photos and it's nice to "meet" him.

    Thanks for your comments on the Gypsy. Isn't All the Light... wonderful? I'm glad you liked it too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Due credit to Franc for a superb selection of in flight images.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful sky ballet....and stunning images!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi David,
    I must congratulate Franc on the quality of his images, I find Terns in general such difficult birds to get anything like a decent image from.
    They are so acrobatic in flight and just as you press the shutter, they dive away to the side and another image of a tree on the other side of the water is stored.
    Wonderful post,
    All the best, John

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi David,
    Oh yes, now I know Franc :) and I'm glad to see him.
    Another beautiful series of pictures, it's fabulously beautiful! Bravo to him.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well done Franc,your images are superb,some times photographs display a magic that all can see,and your work shows that,great capitulation.
    Thank you for your Magic.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi David - absolutely I will congratulate Franc - he does an amazing job with that lens ... wonderful shots - and what a large bill the tern has ... seen so clearly here. Thanks for highlighting him for us - so we can see the maestro in all his glory dressed for his trade. Thanks for highlighting this Canadian Day weekend = have happy ones ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  21. Espectaculares, preciosas y maravillosas tomas fotográficas David. No existe la menor de duda que su amigo el señor Franco es un gran maestro profesional. Gracias por mostrar y compartir tan bellas imagenes.
    Cordiales saludos

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of the stern, Franc did very well, my compliments.
    Best regards, Irma

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tack för den trevliga - och faktiskt efterlängtade presentationen av den suveräne fågelfotografen. En stor applåd skickar jag över kontinenterna så det hörs ända bort till Franc i Canada!

    Jag vet hur svårt det är, kämpar själv med ny kamera för att förbättra mina bilder så jag är oerhört imponerad när jag ser bilder i världsklass.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you, Gunilla. Franc will be very happy to read your kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fantastic Tern, taken by Franc, a photographer top of my list.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hope both you and Franc can hear me clapping VERY LOUDLY!
    Amazing photographs.

    Have a great weekend.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly heard it (and appreciated it) and I am sure Franc did too!

      Delete
  27. Those images of Caspian Tern are of a truly professional standard and, without hesitation, I add my congratulations to those offered by people before me - well done Franc!!! I have a thing about water splash images - and those are of the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both Franc and I appreciate your very kind comments. You are not too shabby in the photographic department yourself!

      Delete
    2. You will have to come on over, Richard, and you and Franc can shoot pictures together. He also makes the world’s best bruschetta, so we can cat a little, drink a little wine, quaff some Schnapps. There is no end to the decadence we can get up to. We can even show you some very special birds!

      Delete
  28. Hi David,
    This friend of yours has given you the chance to show us a magnificent series of pictures. I can imagine that you like to present here every now and then examples of his high class photography.
    Greetings, Kees

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a beautiful sequence of pictures! Frank never ceases to impress me with his ability to quickly locate his subject and capturing the story of what's happening. What a talent! Looking forward to our next outing together!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a beautiful series of stunning photos. Franc is truly a master of his craft. Thanks for sharing these images for us to see and appreciate.

    ReplyDelete
  31. We are running out of words for these stunning images! How wonderful they are! And, thanks for identifying my swamp harrier. I think they are wonderfully handsome!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love terns, all of them. I like to try to capture them in camera but I don´t have an equipment needed for this kind of clear and crisp shots.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Good Morning David
    Wow, wow wow what a stunning photo´s of the birds a thing I love to see!!
    Have a wonderful day
    Marijke

    ReplyDelete
  34. Amazing! What a nice bird (an stunning photos)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Amazing series of bird in various flight position!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi David. You are fortunate indeed to have this beautiful tern so at hand and that it occurs in good numbers. Franc certainly takes some superb images and his modesty is to be applauded.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Enhorabuena a Franc, son unas fotos excelentes.
    Saludos!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Undoubtedly a very good photographer I enjoy his work a lot when I see the blog, his images are excellent, accompany your complete and interesting stories about birds.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wonderful shots of a wonderful bird - you may even see a few here!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  40. WOW! Amazing images. And the bird is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Las fotos son una maravilla, un trabajo magistral!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful chots, real,wild nature!
    Have a lovely day,

    Ida

    ReplyDelete
  43. Great photos! Have a wonderful week David!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi David. Some reading matter on Sand Martins.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00063657909476625?needAccess=true

    It's good that your farmer freind is protective to "his" Sand Martins. I agree that a previous experience may have turned out poorly but without the full story, it's hard to see what may have gone wrong but it was maybe just inexperience of the "scientists" or simply that the martins were due to leave anyway or a predator had caused disruption? Over here many ringers work Sand Martin Colonies each year without any apparent problems, in fact the amount of data collected is phenomenal. With the Sand Martin being a Sahel migrant it continues to be important to carry on with such work. We have BTO guidelines about how and when we catch the species. No more than 4 visits a season is recommended, spaced out at three and four week intervals to avoid being too intrusive.

    When farmers are reluctant to agree to birders and ringers working on their land, it is hard to persuade them otherwise I agree.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Klasse Bilder von der Raubseeschwalbe.

    Noke

    ReplyDelete
  46. an excellent series of photographs, he is a talented photographer!! i don't water mark my images, people tell me i should but i would be flattered if someone thought they were good enough to take!!

    i am not good at action/flight shots, i am always working on those!!

    ps, thanks for your comment on my blog, because of the long perky tails, i have been quite confused. i will keep an eye on these guys. they hang around the front door so they are not hard to keep track of!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sensational pictures. I am so impressed. in real life this would be over in a flash. Here, i can really see.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Spectacular captures.
    Have a wonderful weekend
    Many Greetings
    Maria
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hello David,
    it's great that you can use his photos in your blog.
    The late ones enjoy it. A tern is difficult to photograph in flight.
    Super that you do :-)
    Kind regards, Helma xx

    ReplyDelete