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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Mersea
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    6,447

    Default Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    Just being silly:

    P1070552 by Roger Gaspar, on Flickr

    On the edge of the Black Deep.


    Photo 2: Common Tern or Little Tern?


    P1070561 by Roger Gaspar, on Flickr

    Barrow Deep heading for the Netherlands.
    www.crossingthethamesestuary.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,890

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    I'm not sure about your little tern. It is hard to judge from the photo, except that it has a yellow bill. It could just as well be a Sandwich tern, which I regularly see around the Harwich area. I also see little terns too, both this year. It is easy to tell them apart in the air, since the little terns have such fast wing-beats, and the Sandwich jobs quite stiff beats even compared to a common tern. If you were there, you would have heard the Sandwich tern's noisy call, likened to having a dental amalgam inserted. I know that you know all this, but there may be some who don't.

    It is actually quite rare to see a solitary tern, after all, one good tern deserves another.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Mersea
    Posts
    6,447

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    According to the 'book', black bill = Sandwich, orange bill = Common Tern, yellow bill = Little Tern. I suspected it is a Common Tern:

    Tern by Roger Gaspar, on Flickr

    I thought it looked like that it has some colour on the bill. And it is north of the North Foreland! But these?

    Terns by Roger Gaspar, on Flickr

    Probably all Sandwich Terns I thought but they are not that big (Sandwich = 41cm, Common = 35cm, Little - 24cm. We had a couple of Little Terns in Salcott Creek for a couple of weeks - very small.

    These are important issues. T'was a lovely day for poking around the Estuary. Not great vis though:

    P1070546 by Roger Gaspar, on Flickr
    www.crossingthethamesestuary.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Essex
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    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    I think that in retrospect they are actually all common terns. Sandwiches have a yellow tip sometimes and my impression of your solo flier was simply 'not red', but that is less clear in the enlargement. The boarders I think are all common and the one that looks yellow is actually red but reflecting more light. As I say, the identification is easy when they are flying.

    A knowledgable lady I used to work with called red-beaked terns 'comic' terns because of the difficulty distinguishing arctic from common.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Mersea
    Posts
    6,447

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    Tend to agree.

    Anyone know the boat? T'was heading SW down the Barrow Deep. I have three or four images they could have.
    www.crossingthethamesestuary.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,890

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    I have never succeeded in getting a proper photo of little terns locally. I am usually too busy trying to follow the passage off Stone Point, where they seem to hang out. This one from Hamford Water is the nearest I've got.

    It was much easier in India, where they appeared to be at ease.

    These Sandwich terns were at Stone Point. They seem to like the area between Harwich and the Walton Channel.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Mersea
    Posts
    6,447

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    I seem to have missed the Little Terns. There was a pair a couple of weeks ago but I didn't have my camera with me. Now I have I haven't seen them. Indeed a pair of Pied Wagtails seem to have taken their place in Salcott Creek! Like the Sandwiches.
    www.crossingthethamesestuary.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,164

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    Antarctic terns are pretty little birds!

    DSC00957_clip.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
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    22,890

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    Very pretty. Little terns are very romantic. There is nothing like a dead fish to win the heart of a lady with:



    River terns are not especially elegant in comparison but they are lovely in the air.

    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Paddle Boarding - 5 on aboard. Is that possible?

    This thread is unusually interesting and informative. Are Sandwich Terns so called because of a connection with the islands of the same name or did sailors put them between slices of bread?

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