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!