Royal Tern

Royal tern along the beach just after sunrise at Sandy Point State Park. I had went to Sandy Point on August 8 (in the middle of a very hot day). While seeing several new species of bird that day, I only saw a few terns flying out far in the Chesapeake. I decided my next trip would be a sunrise trip and I was able to be there before 7 AM on August 17.

I spent 3 hours on the beach photographing and observing the terns. They are easy to pick out among the gulls but that did not mean they were easy to photograph. I discovered nearly instantly that while the gulls did not mind my presence, the various tern species were much more apprehensive and would fly off while walking towards them. Even at far distances of about 150 feet was enough for them to fly off. I did attempt to slowly walk up to them several times with no results. I ended up squat-stepping slowly through the sand, which worked about half the time. I also tried to use the lifeguards towers as a blind. That was also unsuccessful due to not being able to get close to the towers without scaring them. The other problem I was trying to overcome with their skittishness was photographing them without the gulls in front of or behind them.

No post-processing done on this photo.

Lens - Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD @ 400mm on Nikon D5500