Feed me, please!

Common Terns.

Birding watching on Meon Shore as the tide comes in.

The Common Tern colony at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve numbers have increased in recent weeks, and parent birds along with their youngsters from other areas have joined our local birds. The birds rest up on the islands in the nature reserve when the tide is high then when the tide is low they rest up on the shingle banks and on the beach. The young birds are now going out into the Solent, to feed diving for small fish and shrimps. The juvenile birds are quickly learning this skill, although their feeding is still being supplemented by their parents. The clock is ticking they have to feed up as they leave our coast towards the end of August and September and migrate to Africa.

These picture shows that the mother knows best and she is undertakes the hard work of catching the meals to feed up one of her youngsters.

The juvenile birds have not fully developed their colouring – it is most noticeable that their black cap does not extend to the top of their bill.

I was pleased with the film I made of this young tern being fed by the adult bird, I thought once the youngster had eaten the large fish it would have been full but it had at least another 4 small fish.

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