Silver Sands State Park was extra busy today, with people all over the beach enjoying the holiday. There were plenty of animals out and about, too, and I got totally distracted for a while, watching a dainty little Least Tern fishing in the shallow water right against the beach:
This is the first time I've seen Least Terns in Connecticut and known what to call them -- I learned to identify Least Terns only this past May, during our trip to Florida. (Incidentally, the Least Tern is listed as a threatened species in Connecticut.) This particular Least Tern was completely engaged in its fishing activities, and so I was able to get quite close to it to watch the proceedings. It would hover in the air for a few seconds, scoping out the water below. And then, when it had a target in sight...
(Note the holiday-goers in the background -- they didn't mind the tern, and the tern didn't mind them! Also note the sudden decrease in picture quality when the bird's doing something as interesting as diving.... My action-shot skills still have a lot of room for improvement!)
Sometimes the tern would resurface from the waves with a small fish in its beak:
And within a few seconds, the fish would be good and swallowed (yum), and then a quick shake-off and it's back to hovering again, preparing for the next dive. I could have watched (and tried to photograph) this active little bird for much longer, but I had left Paul dozing in the sun on the beach, and it was time to wake him up and go get lunch. Aren't holidays fun?