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Forster’s Tern

I started off my photography experiment with an entry level Nikon D40.  It’s a very good base for taking still photos but the camera can only capture 2.5 frames per second.  When you take pictures of birds in flight, that means a lot of blurry pictures.  I bought a Nikon D300s base a few months ago because it takes 7-8 frames per second.  And oh, what a difference that speed makes:

Farmington Bay includes Forster’s Terns.  These pictures show the terns in their breeding plumage.  The non-breeding plumage includes only a black smudge around the eyes.  Forster’s Terns eat a lot of fish.  First they locate an area:

Then they hover:

Then they dive:




During bird breeding season, the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management staff close off most of the land to vehicular traffic.  They do, however, allows people to walk the roads.  The entire time that I crossed the gates, I didn’t see another person.  There was a woman in the driving area that told me that the birding was very bad that day.  Oh, if only she had walked a little.  She could have seen gorgeous views and birds.  I saw three new life birds on this trip!

The Great Salt Lake provides sustenance for the brine fly.  The Great Salt Lake is a stopover for millions of birds during migration in part because the birds love to eat brine flies.  These flies are amazing; thousands of them descend in massive swirling droves.  They don’t bite people, thank goodness.  They’re quite startling when you first approach them because it sounds like a plane or some massive event that is about to occur.  Instead, it’s merely flies.

Tomorrow I will post about some of the birds I found after I crossed the gate.

5 Responses to “Forster’s Tern”

  1. Pamela says:

    Wow! Some brilliant pictures!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks! I’m really proud of these shots.

  3. Pamela says:

    You should be proud! Oh, and those yellow blackbirds are gorgeous! I’ve never seen them before.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah, yellow-headed blackbird don’t seem to be in your area. But if you go over to Wisconsin or Minnesota, you should see tons!

  5. Pamela says:

    ….sadly, not sure even a yellow-headed blackbird would lure me to Wisconsin or Minnesota….

    (East Coast girl at heart)