Wednesday, February 07, 2007
It is all too easy to put a 'human' interpretation on avian events, and I'm as guilty as anyone of occasional 'flights of fantasy' in that department. So my interpretation of what was going on, illustrated in the accompanying images, has to be seen in that light! While walking the spit at Marion Bay, I watched and photographed an adult plumaged Crested Tern carrying a small fish (I believe it's a Sand Whiting). I followed its' movements, assuming it intended to feed one of the several young Crested Terns present, and I prepared to photograph the event. However, what this tern actually did, was to fly from one group of adult Cresteds to the next, proffering the fish, apparently in the hope that one might accept it. It's the scene that is frequently seen prior to breeding. Rightly or wrongly, I think it was trying to find a mate. Whether this bird had just reached its 'majority' or lost it's previous mate, I've no idea, but sad to say, although I watched it for 20 minutes or so, it didn't find any takers. I wonder what was really going on?