“People often ask me how it is that I seem to be so much at peace. There is a primary reason — and it is available to all who wish to have it. Here’s a simple prerequisite to attaining peace at that level. I invite you to observe the beasts, birds and fish and let them teach you. Let this be a daily routine and life, as you know it, will never be the same.”
– Eddie Bo

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 248 - Common Tern!

I finally caught up with a not-so-common Common Tern.  It only took two attempts.

Late yesterday afternoon I got a message from Peter Gaede that there was a Common Tern flying around over the Bird Refuge.  Not wanting to miss this, I hopped on my bike and with the help of a nice tailwind covered the 5 miles to the refuge in about 15 minutes.  Unfortunately there was not a tern to be seen.  I checked along the beach on the way home thinking it might be resting there with other terns.  No luck - there were plenty of the terns common to our area (Elegant and Royal) but no Common Terns.

Then this morning Nick Lethaby reported the tern was flying over the Bird Refuge, so I once again dashed down there.  No tailwind this time so it took a couple minutes longer.  I arrived and looked around for about 5 minutes, but no tern.  Then it appeared, and flew around over the water for the next hour or so until I left.  Bird #243 for the year!

Taking photos of terns in flight is above my pay grade, but I did manage a couple of distant shots that show the ID features that separate this from a Forster's Tern.  The upper side of the wing is a darker gray, with a darker patch along the front of the wing (carpal bar).  The dark region on the top of the head continues down the nape of the neck.  The outer tail feathers are dark.

I also include a better photo taken last year at Goleta Beach.

Common Tern

 Common Tern

Common Tern, Goleta Beach Sep 2014

After the addition of this 1 species, the year's total stands at 243.

Today I rode a total of 14.6 miles

More later,

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