When sometime during the early teens I had first picked the up the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” I remember having done so because of the very lovely photos of the Seagulls. Of Course! after having read the book it came to mean much more but there did remain one wish for a long long time.
And that wish was to capture a picture of a Seagull which reflected the same spirit as that of Jonathan. Alas, I live in a land locked city of Nagpur which is almost a 1000km from the nearest sea shore. Seagulls in Nagpur are a rare occurrence. The above picture is a very near approximation of what I desired from the photo I wished.
The picture is that of a Little tern (Sterna albifrons) taken at Wena lake some 17km from where I live.
If one where to look at the distribution maps in bird books you would notice that Little tern is not exactly abundantly found inland. When we had first spotted these birds at Telankhedi lake in the year 2005 we were very excited. The report had then listed them as vagrants and the probable reason that was put forth was the rains were particularly heavy that year. We saw them again for the next year more years and there was talk about change the status to passage migrants. However on May 7th 2006 myself along with Swati, Raju and Shad went to Wena and we saw Little terns nesting!! and since then every year we have managed to spot their nests. Their status is now considered to be breeding migrants. Hopefully next editions of bird guides will carry updated maps….
The picture was taken using my D70 and 70-200VR at a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second
I had taken about 200 pictures of terns that morning – this was the one which appealed to me the most. Apart from resizing the photo is straight out of the camera. Recently I got a 30″x24″ print made of this picture and it now hangs in Aasim’s room.