Sunday, September 27, 2009

Caspian Terns on the shores of Lake Erie

Birding at the Midwest Birding Symposium in Lakeside, Ohio.
One of the water birds I most enjoyed watching along the shores of Lake Erie was the Caspian Tern. I loved how they would skim over the water with their bills pointed down…always busy, always looking around, never content to just soar with their bills pointed forward looking out at the horizon. Often they would fly directly over me, and it would look like they were watching me, but I knew they weren’t. They were looking for fish, and when they found one, whoa…that soaring plunge headfirst into the water was always fascinating. The Caspian Terns were hard to photograph. They were always moving fast and flying high, so I painted one today for a closer look.

Watercolor of a Caspian Tern, Lake Erie


Caspian Tern from the Lakeside Pier
It doesn’t matter how high he flies,
that carrot bill stands out!

The Lakeside Pier is a great place to just sit and watch
the birds fly by. I saw my first Caspian Tern here.

For more birds from around the world, head over to

46 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Kel----your gifts just continue to grow... Love the watercolor... WOW--I'm SO impressed. The Caspian Tern is a gorgeous bird... Love that long red beak...

Sounds like you had a fabulous birding event. I'm so jealous!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Roy said...

Love the watercolor,Kelly. Good job!

mick said...

Nice photo and extra nice watercolor! We have Caspian Terns out here in Australia too and I think they are the same ones that breed all over north America too. They are so much larger than the other terns we get out here and it is fascinating to see them dive for fish.

Elaine said...

Your photo is beautiful but your watercolor is absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful bird.

Dave Lewis said...

Fantastic watercolor!
It sure is amazing to watch them hover then dive straight into the water, then come up with a fish.

Jayne said...

How beautiful Kelly! You are so very talented.

ShySongbird said...

A lovely watercolour Kelly, well done and the photo is very impressive too!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Just graceful and lovely aren't they?
Like flying ballet.

holdingmoments said...

Never seen one before.
Great capture Kelly, and a great painting.

Heather said...

Ahh, we haven't seen one of your watercolors for a while. This is a lovely one, Kelly.

Susan Ellis said...

the Caspian Tern is one of my favourites...and your painting (!) is lovely.

Mary said...

Kelly, your painting is so beautiful! YOu really captured it perfectly. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Laure Ferlita said...

Look at you go, GF!! Love the painting! Very well done and as always, love your photos!!

Montanagirl said...

My goodness - not only are you a great photographer, you're a very talented artist as well. That painting of the Caspian Tern is amazing. Love your blog!

Wren said...

Kelly, you are so talented! Just the thought of drawing a bird "to get a closer look" inspires awe.

Cicero Sings said...

Ah, it's a talented girl you are.

Those terns ARE hard to get a picture of!

Ginnymo said...

Beautiful painting Kelly!! You sure do capture the birds wonderfully!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

What a beautiful bird and a gorgeous painting!

Roy said...

That's a fabulous watercolour Kelly.

The Early Birder said...

What talent...Fabulous watercolour Peanut. FAB.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Sweetheart.
Thank you for your kind comments. Don't you just love watching Terns, They put on a good show. Love your painting, what a talented lady you are.
As for what you said about it watching you,I think it was, just 1 lovely bird looking at another one.

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Hi Kelly! It's a beautiful picture, as good as your pictures! For me it is a kind t also fascinating, I've only seen a few times (I live far from the sea), but I've always been amazed by her beauty, elegance and spectacular size. Greetings from Spain!

Mar said...

I've only ever heard of the Common Tern, thanks for the lesson on this "new" bird. Very beautiful photos.

Tabib said...

You are a good painter too.
Beautiful!

Greener Bangalore said...

I thought you just a wonderful lensman but now started seeing the new face(maybe new only for me)in Kelly in that watercolor of Caspian Tern....Awesome Kelly

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Hi, Kelly. I love the watercolor! (You are so talented.) That is a terrific idea for capturing the details.

hip chick said...

Very pretty bird. You are very talented.

Rambling Woods said...

Wow...you are an artist too. Lovely. I went to your heron blog. I am wondering if there is anyway to tell a female from a male great blue heron as I see them often on the pond... Michelle

Nature As Is said...

Beautiful watercolor Kelly...Wow I can't even draw a stick person. LOL....your shot of the the Caspian Tern is fabulous caught the light beautifully.

BirdingMaine said...

Absolutely beautiful photo and watercolor Kelly! Great work!

Warren Baker said...

Which one is the painting kelly.? Nice job!

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, I love the beautiful watercolor of the Caspian Tern! Mch more expressive than a photo.

Jim H said...

Kelly, That watercolor of the tern in flight is one of your best paintings of a bird. The colors are so vibrant, and they emphasize the beauty of the bird. Keep it up, Jim

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
What a magnificent painting! Gosh you have some hidden skills.... I was wondering if you were selling this painting or if we could ask you to do some for us! Please let me know, I would be interested!

Jo said...

Beautiful watercolour -- you've got that serious, determined fish-hunting look down pat! Here's to more difficult photography subjects, if it means we get to see more of your artwork. ;)

Ann said...

I love the watercolor! Beautifully done.

Larry said...

Gorgeous watercolor Kelly and the photo is great too. You must have had a super time at the symposium. What fun!

Kelly said...

Betsy and Roy...thank you!

Mick...thank you, and yes...they are the same--they occur on every continent except Antarctica! They are cool birds.

Elaine, Dave...thanks...I loved watching them "fish!"

Jayne and Songbird...thank you!

Suz...flying ballet is a good description!

Keith...thanks...

Heather...I'm going to try to do more...

Susan..thank you...definiltely one of my favorites. I love those bills!

Mary..thank you!

Laure...you inspired me!!

Mona, Wren, Cicero...Ginny....thank you very much!

Jennifer, Roy, Frank and Ken....thank you too!

Atanasio...thank you! I love their size too...so big compared to the other terns!

Mar...the Caspian is much larger than the Common...and his bill is always red/orange. Thanks!

Tabib and Greener...thank you!

Adrienne...when they are too hard to photograph well...I'll try to paint them...sketching on site and then painting back home. (One of these days I'll paint on site!)

hip chick...thank you!

Michelle....the pretty much look alike...I've never really been able to tell them apart. Since they share nest duty, it's hard to say!

Krista and Maine...thank you very much!

Warren...you're so nice! Thanks..

Hilke...thanks...it is fun to paint in a little more expression!

Thanks, Jim!!! :-)

Chris....you know....I don't usually sell them because I've just not tried to...don't know how to set it up on the web...but I guess I could. Thank you!!

Jo...thanks so much. I was just at your site earlier today admiring your sketches and the cool video you took of the ovenbird. Your art is always so beautiful.

Ann..thank you!!

Larry...it was awesome. I can't wait for the next one. It's in two years.

Steve B said...

You got this one. The Caspian Tern is a very large Tern. We used to call them Caspian Tanks because they dwarfed the Forsters and Least terns.

Kelly said...

Steve...I love Caspian Tanks....that is perfect!! Thanks...

Nick S said...

Love that painting Kelly :-)

I usually get a Caspian Tern or two to add to my year list, but actually haven't seen one this year ...

Susan W. said...

I absolutely LOVE your paintings! The tern is beautiful! THANK YOU!

E said...

Lovely and poetic, glad you had the best time over there and share all those moments with us. Thanks, Kelly. Well done!

dAwN said...

AWESOME! I Love your watercolor..you are talented with the brush as well as camera and words!

Weedpicker Cheryl said...

This is so marvelous Kelly!

I love those "carrot beaks".

So glad tyo meet you in person at MBS- we'll look forward to it again in 2011!

Best, Cheryl

NW Nature Nut said...

Your watercolors are always such a treat!