Having spent the morning watching the motocross event at Pembrey track, I had a few hours to kill before a BBQ in the evening. Despite being on the wrong side of the Burry Inlet I couldn’t resist a trip down to Port Eynon on Gower in the hope of photographing some Terns. Last year my dad had a particularly successful outing on the beach with a tame flock of around twenty Sandwich Terns allowing him to get some superb shots. I didn’t have a camera at that time and have been ruing the missed opportunity ever since. In fact that day was one of the main driving forces behind me taking up bird photography in the first place.
Unsurprisingly given the gorgeous weather, I found the beach packed with holidaymakers. I suspected that if any Terns had been present they would have long since vacated the area for pastures a little quieter. However, down on the exposed rocks I located an adult Sandwich Tern along with, to much excitement I might add, a juvenile in tow! This species is recorded as a regular passage visitor by official records, so I presume that these individuals have bred elsewhere and were simply stopping off for some food. Either way they let me get some excellent shots. I was able to always approach to the same distance before the adult bird began giving out an alarm call, causing the juvenile to rush towards it and become similarly vocal.
The highlight however has to be the following photo which I rate as one of my best ever. I was trying to show how the Terns were coexisting with the people at the beach, when both Terns took to the air. I managed to snatch this picture which perfectly demonstrates what I was aiming for. Indeed, it is somewhat poetic that a human family in the background enjoying a day on the beach is so near to a Tern family doing exactly the same thing.
Elsewhere on the beach a Crow was enjoying some crustacean delicacies whilst a juvenile Starling was waiting to pounce on any chips that may have fallen astray.