Another Arctic Tern - Sterna paradisaea by David Lewins

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Another Arctic Tern - Sterna paradisaea by 

With its long tail streamers and general shape the Arctic tern deserves the local name of ‘sea swallow’. Appearing white with a black cap, it is largely coastal although it can be seen inland on migration. It depends on a healthy marine environment and some colonies have been affected by fish shortages. Arctic terns are the ultimate long distance migrants – summer visitors to the UK and winter visitors to the Antarctic.

Generally breeds along the coastline in open areas with sand or shingle, or on moorland/coastal heath. They are extremely vulnerable to predation, especially by ground predators, and in some areas are forced to nest on small islands which are free from mammals such as rats and mink. In Shetland some extensive colonies are inland on heath, rough pasture, sedge grassland or islets in lochs.

Spends the winter entirely at sea, resting on floating objects and reaching south to the Antarctic pack ice.

EOS 20D Sigma 50-500mm @ 430mm UPDATED 16/06/10


ocean, sea, bird, coastal, migrant, gull, arctic, tern

Professional Travel Photographer and Teacher of Photography living in County Durham, North East UK.

David Lewins Photography

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  • Mark Robson
    Mark Robsonabout 4 years ago

    Superb capture David, lovely detail :))

  • Thank you very much for the kind comment Mark, appreciated.

    – David Lewins

  • Iris Mackenzie
    Iris Mackenzieabout 4 years ago

    a wonderful portrait!

  • Thank you very much Iris, much appreciated

    – David Lewins

  • Paulo van Breugel
    Paulo van Breugelabout 4 years ago

    Nice one

  • Thank you Paulo

    – David Lewins

  • Akkra
    Akkraabout 4 years ago

    Love the format, your Tern looks great caught in flight like this! Lovely light and colours :o)

  • Hanging from a “Sky Hook” just before landing on a post. Thanks for the kind words Zoe, always appreciated.

    – David Lewins

  • JohnPeel
    JohnPeelabout 4 years ago

    Quite wonderful, David. Do NOT put that lens away…

  • ROFL It has to go bye byes sooner or later John! Pleased you’re enjoying them and thanks for your kind words of support.

    – David Lewins

  • Andrew Ness -
    Andrew Ness - ...about 4 years ago

    Stunning image David, I’m loving your series of bird shots. That 500mm lens must have cost you a fair whack but you’re certainly getting your moneys worth.

  • Thanks Andrew, it wasn’t cheap but had the lens for 4-5 years now, so I think I’ve had my monies worth! LOL Cheers. :-)

    – David Lewins

  • Russell Couch
    Russell Couchabout 4 years ago

    What a lovely shot great

  • Thanks very much for your kind comment, appreciated

    – David Lewins

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful capture and info

  • Thank you very much for the kind words Barry

    – David Lewins

  • Phoxford
    Phoxfordabout 4 years ago

    Lovely picture, David. Well caught and framed with a tad of ‘mystery’ – what is it about to land on :D

  • Thank you David. There are walking boards around the nesting area which have low rope fences with small wooden posts. This one had a nest close to one of the posts and keep landing on it.

    – David Lewins

  • Grandalf
    Grandalfabout 4 years ago

    Excellent capture David

  • Thanks very much Dave, pleased you like it.

    – David Lewins

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