Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Love Is In The Air

Royal Terns
March 2012
Wiggins Pass

"Love is like pi -- natural, irrational, and very important."
-Lisa Hoffman

During a gorgeous March day at Wiggins Pass recently in my too-often neglected yellow kayak, I spent a few hours with a large group of terns, black skimmers, Pelicans, plovers, laughing gulls and willets as they mingled, preened and fed on a sandbar. Spending time with these feathered friends is always a good way to spend any morning.

I was especially lucky to find a flock of royal terns in full mating plumage on the sandbar. In the photo above, the pair are displaying mating posture behaviours, as well as sporting that wild black "crown" that will eventually fade to more speckled black and white once mating season is over.

This sandbar, right smack in the middle of the Pass, is such a buffet of bird life. Unless the tide is covering it, I can always count on finding some resident there, ready to entertain me with their bird antics. I arrived at dead low tide and stayed until the last speck of sand was covered with water and the birds flew on to a drier gathering place. I could have stayed all day!

Despite the heavy boat traffic, the gulls were their usual bully selves, the terns were flirting like crazy, the little plovers were just trying to take a nap in the cacophany, the pelicans towered above everyone else, and the black skimmers were practicing touch-and-goes until their landing strip was lost to the tide.

The wings, the heads, the offer of fresh fish! Ah, spring love is in the air!

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 80-400 VR, spring fever, a pretty sandbar and willing birds