Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Stroll to the End of the Pier

It was a perfect summer afternoon, so we decided to take a stroll to the end of Tynemouth pier and discovered that it was a favourite spot for common terns to take a break and indulge in a bit of preening....

... which is necessary if you spend most of your life diving head-first into the sea every few minutes.

Only a brief respite though, and now they were in tip-tip shape time it was time to get back to work....


.... feeding the juveniles that were parked at intervals all along the pier.

Demanding work...

.. so the parent birds' feet hardly touched the ground ...

... while their were feeding their offspring, which ....

...apart from occasionally staggering to their feet for a stretch, just sunbathed.


This herrring gull had the temerity to land near a chick and the parent bird carried out relentless attacks until the gull was driven off, which is maybe why ....

... this turnstone tip-toed past PDQ, fearful that it would be in for the same treatment.

A small flock of redshanks, driven off the Black Middens rocks at the mouth of the Tyne by the rising tide, landed in the pier briefly....

... but didn't settle for long before the terns drove them off too.

The terns even had a go at this guillemot, swimming innocently by, but it showed them a clean pair of heels.

16 comments:

  1. Superb images......A good vantage point which you obviously took full advantage of.

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  2. Terns are cracking birds and very feisty parents. They seem to work themselves into a bit of a frenzy and take exception to anything that comes in range. I particularly liked the shot of the 4 juvenile Redshanks.........before they were set upon.

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  3. Wonderful photos. The last picture is so funny!

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  4. A great series of shots there Phil.

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  5. Lovely set of pictures, never entered my head to pop down to Tynemouth to see such birds! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Cracking set Phil. You've certainly got a busy pier there.

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  7. I've never seen so many birds in one posting before, it was so good to see. What wonderful creatures, so diverse. Thank you Phil.

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  8. Thanks. It was a very pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon fernenland...

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  9. Hi Adrian, good light and railings to rest the camera on - so no camera-shake for a change, Adrian!

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  10. Beautiful mottling on redshanks' plumage, isn't it John....

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  11. Hi lotusleaf, it was diving for cover!

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  12. Thanks John, I think some of the birds must be quite accustomed to strollers along the pier...

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  13. Thanks Roger, there's the kittiwake colony on teh cliffs there too...

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  14. Hi Keith, seems to be a popular spot for birds to sit and wait for the tide to go down...

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  15. Hi toffeeapple, I missed a couple of species - there were kittiwakes and cormorants too...

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