Okfine, Ann enticed me out of the house yesterday afternoon on short notice to go birding, as she felt it had been far too long since she and I had filled up numerous memory cards together, so off I went, meeting her at 1:30 p.m. in north Pickering. The marsh was dead, as was Cranberry Marsh in Whitby, although we did see Pied-billed Grebes, Common Moorhens, Canada Geese (whoopdeedoo), Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, blahblahblah.
So out of desperation we stopped in at Lynde Shores CA for a family of Mute Swans, and ended up hitting pay dirt with a family of Common Terns that was so close to us we were hard-pressed at times to get the entire bird in our photos, so here goes...
This juvenile spent most of his time on the railing:
The male eventually joined him, and pretty much contributed nothing to the party other than preening himself, grrrrr:
Then mom arrived on the scene:
Admittedly she's preening too, but she has good reason to, as she would fly off and execute these magnificent plunge-dives into the water hunting for small fish to bring back to feed the juvie right before our eyes, over and over again!
Ann and I quickly figured out the process: the juvie would start screaming as the mother flew in with the fish, so we would ready ourselves to "let 'er rip" with our cameras, it was insane. Here's the deal:
Juvie is screaming and opens up wide so mom has a better chance at hitting her mark...
...down the hatch...do you think it tickles on the way down??
And there you have it, here are some more sequences:
This was probably the most amusing feeding session: the food transfer didn't quite go as planned, and it all happened so fast we weren't sure if mom knocked the juvie over, or if he simply lost his balance when the transfer happened. You'll have to be the judge as Ann and I were howling when it happened:
There's no way that juvie is giving up that fish, but he made a quick and safe recovery, though:
Ahhh yes, about those Mute Swans with the cygnets...
Check out the cygnet in the left rear, air-drying its foot!
A closer look at that foot, it almost looks prehistoric:
So between the Mute Swans and the Common Terns, I was well over several hundred photos to edit, but it was truly worth the effort, what a fabulous afternoon, thanks, Ann!