However, I did make a run down to Quintana Beach a few weeks ago and was surprised at the number of terns that were present. Until the last year or so — when my interest in birds really grew into something that went beyond "Oh look, there's a bird!" — I had always lumped many of the shorebirds found at our local beaches into that ignorant misnomer of "sea gulls." But with the (mostly) patient tutoring of several more experienced birders on recent outings, I'm quickly beginning to discover the vast variety of gulls and terns. Here are a couple of my recent forages into tern identification:
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Royal Terns (Sterna maxima)
(with more photos here and here)
Other terns seen on the trip included Least Terns, Sandwich Terns and a solitary Black Tern. Unfortunately, I didn't make it back with any decent shots of these.
For more great bird photos from around the world, check out Bird Photography Weekly #39.