Saturday, 7 May 2011
I managed to get a few snaps of one of the two Common Terns that are fishing on the stretch of the Grand Union Canal in Brentford near the office.
The one above was taken just after a successful catch: you can just see the tail of the fish sticking out of the bird's mouth as it makes its final journey. I'll put a few other shots on Flickr.
The birds are presumably a pair. Not sure where they'll build their scrape but nearby reservoirs are the likeliest bet. They'll probably continue to hunt here through the summer. I've also seen them flying over the Great West Road on the way home.
They're fabulous, very graceful summer visitors. The RSPB estimates 12,000 pairs will breed in the UK before migrating to West Africa for the winter.
It's not the most idyllic of spots, right underneath the M4, but the water must be clean and full of fish. There are always plenty of Coots, Moorhens and Cormorants around and this week's gruelling lunchtime jogs have also been rewarded with regular sightings of a Grey Wagtail.