Angels Above Me

Tern Triptych

Angels Above Me

I have been watching these beautiful terns at Thorpe Lake, where I do my open water swimming, from the shore and from the waters, wanting to capture their beauty and elegance in flight. I decided that the best way to achieve my goals was to take my toughened Olympus out swimming with me! This pair are nesting on one of the pontoons that divides areas of the lakes. Over the last few weeks I have seen them take to the air whenever a swimmer, or the other lake residents, come anywhere close to the pontoon. I have absolutely reveled in these aerial acrobatics, performed right above me as I glide through the waters. A couple of times I have turned onto my back and floated, gazing up at these angels. To capture these images last week I trod water for a while so that I could turn more easily and track their flight with both hands on the camera. I can’t tread water for long without using up all my energy, so it actually helped that terns fly fast and low! I ended up with three images, that had both male and female in the frame, and just couldn’t pick a favourite to enter into this week’s Wex Mondays challenge, so I created a tern triptych. I will post all three of the images for you to check out individually. Perhaps you will have a favourite?

Common Terns in flightCommon Terns in flightCommon Terns in flight

I’m also posting this as part of the WPC: Ooh, Shiny! Pretty much anything with wings distracts me, as those of you who follow my work, or come out on photography trips with me, know already πŸ˜‰

17 comments on “Angels Above Me

    • Thanks Chris πŸ™‚ They’re very vocal birds! I had hoped to get more of the youngsters on the pontoon where they nested by going out on the boat but they have fledged over the last week!! Great fun watching the young chasing the parents around begging food from them πŸ˜€

  1. Great photos of the terns, Sarah πŸ™‚
    And wow!!! You’re brave, I can’t imagine swimming in Thorpe lake, it must be freezing, even in the middle of summer!!!

    • Thanks so much πŸ™‚ Haha, it’s actually really lovely during the summer. Didn’t need the wetsuit most of June and July! I have started wearing the wetsuit again now as the weather has been so pants it’s cooled off a bit. Still around 21Β° though! Much prefer open water swimming to a pool πŸ™‚

      • I would agree with you Sarah, about open water being much better than a pool, but freshwater is just a wee bit toooo cold for my liking! Lol! It would be like swimming in the North Sea in the middle of winter! I’m really impressed that you didn’t wear a wetsuit in June & July πŸ™‚

      • Weather is so crazy at the moment I keep changing my mind on whether to put the wetsuit on or not! I did today but that was more because of the chill wind than the actual water temperature. Last week I went without, temperature was 22Β° which I find really comfortable for a distance swim πŸ™‚ I think the North Sea in winter is only about 6Β° so I wouldn’t be getting in that without a drysuit and thermals lol πŸ˜‰ I am going to miss the lake when the season finishes at the end of this month! Swim Serpentine challenge is coming up in just a couple of weeks so I have that to look forward to πŸ˜€

      • The weather has been a wee bit crazy recently Sarah, we’ve had that same distinctive chill to the wind, but overall fairly warm temps. Is that the temperature of the water, 22 Β°C, that is much warmer than I would have imagined πŸ™‚
        Good luck with the Swim the Serpentine challenge, I’ll need to keep an eye out for you, it sometimes gets on the news, even up here in Scotland πŸ™‚

      • It’s definitely gone very autumnal now!! Last year it was a warm sunny day for the Serpentine swim and the water temperature was about 18Β°. This year it was much cooler with a few heavy showers and the water was only 15Β°. We did it though πŸ˜€ About 5000 swimmers over the course of the day! It’s always harder work swimming in big groups as the water gets quite choppy. It was lovely when the sun did come out though! My mum was brilliant and managed to finish 8th for her age group πŸ˜€ So proud of her! I’ll get a post up about the day and the charities we were swimming for πŸ™‚ I will definitely be doing it again!! What part of Scotland are you in? My aunt lives in the Ochills north of Sterling. I haven’t been up there for ages!

      • Wow!!! You and your Mum are amazing sarah, it’s fantastic what you and everyone else has done for charity πŸ™‚ No wonder you’re proud of your Mum, like you said, that water gets really choppy with so many swimmers, so to finish 8th was fantastic!! πŸ™‚
        Your Aunt lives in a beautiful part, Sarah, Stirling from the couple of times I’ve been there is really nice, and the Ochils are very impressive (I’ll just get a wee bit of geology in, they consist of Devonian (approx 400 million year old) basalts, ie a huge lava plateau). I’m approx 40 miles to the south east, down in Fife πŸ™‚

      • I think it’s a part of Scotland that’s not really fully represented by the tourist industry or in TV documentaries. The geology of our islands is quite fascinating! It’s all chalkhills down my way. The geology of Scotland has such a dramatic impact on the landscape that we see. I loved my last visit up there, travelling through Perthshire along the Taye. I’d love to swim in some of the beautiful lochs! I remember watching the salmon leaping up the falls just outside of Edinburgh. Amazing sight!

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  3. Wonderful birds, exciting photos. All three are very worthy and I think I like the first one best. There seems some definite interaction going on between you and both birds here, direct eye contact. The outlines against the blue sky is pleasing, and the visibly defined shape of their bodies and wing structure is really quite detailed. Splendid angels!

    • Thanks so much πŸ™‚ It’s interesting that everyone is quite split on the favourite! The different reasons all show that each image has something in particular to offer so perhaps creating the triptych was exactly what was needed. They really are a joy to watch πŸ™‚

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