As regular readers of this site would know, I live in the rural city of Murray Bridge in South Australia. Our city straddles Australia’s largest waterway, the Murray River. Last week I took an hour out of my busy schedule to take a few photos of birds at Sturt Reserve, named after the early explorer, Charles Sturt who sailed past this spot in 1830.
One of the birds I photographed on the small jetty in the reserve was a Crested Tern. This part of the river is probably about 100km upstream from the river mouth (I’m guessing) but we have several bird species more common along the coast venture upstream this far, including the Crested Terns and the Caspian Terns.
- Flight feathers: these are the well developed feathers on the wings and tail which are used in flight. The wing feathers consist of primaries, secondaries and tertiaries.
I have tried a number of times to capture the flight of various birds, generally with not much luck. In many cases the flight feathers show up brilliant colours or patterns not apparent when the bird is viewed sitting. I remember one attempt late last year when a number of Whiskered Terns were skimming low over us on the edge of Lake Alexandrina while we had a cuppa. For nearly an hour I tried to get a photo; only blurred images or cloud shots resulted. Very frustrating. With more time and experience – not to mention cooperative birds – I will succeed in capturing some great shots one day. In the meantime, you have to be satisfied with this photo of a Caspian Tern.
Updated November 2013.