Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Amazed by a Forster's Tern

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Standing on the dune along the Cape Canaveral National Seashore, I watched a foraging Forster's tern working the water just beyond the breaking waves. It flew parallel to the beach, heading north into the wind, looking down at the water for the silver flicker of sunlight reflecting off fish scales.

Catching sight of just such a flash, it stops, planting one wingtip in the invisible air, then cartwheeling into a dive.

Down like a lead arrow, bill-first it plunges. Splash!

Springing up from one Earth element into another, the tern shakes itself, sending small jewels of wet back to the foam. Nothing small and silvery wriggles in its bill. Nothing to show for such mastery of air and water.

And the tern turns again into the wind, pumping forward on white wings dusted with gray.

I watch from the sand—earthbound—slack-jawed and stirred at the wonder of it all.


On February 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM KaHolly said...

You captured this so perfectly, both in photos and with your gift of expression. I thoroughly enjoyed today's post...enough to finally get up the nerve to leave a comment!! Thank you so much for sharing. ~karen

On February 2, 2010 at 11:29 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Thanks Karen! Always appreciate getting comments. Hope you'll do so again when the mood strikes.

On February 2, 2010 at 2:41 PM OpposableChums said...

Agreed. Elegantly observed.

On February 2, 2010 at 4:37 PM Rondeau Ric said...

With prose like that you could almost be a story teller.

On February 2, 2010 at 11:27 PM Beth in NYC said...

I'm also impressed that you captured the tern striking the water. It happens so fast, I've found it nearly impossible to do. Nice job!

On March 10, 2010 at 12:18 AM Anonymous said...

In wonderment. How your reader feels often. It's a gift. A positive ion, you are, with your love for these birds.

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On July 31, 2010 at 5:18 AM louis said...

With prose like that you could almost be a story teller.