We hear terns outside our apt often, being near the lake. We see them off and on on various hikes that lead to the lake, starting at many entrance points such as Halls Rd., Lynde Shores, Second Marsh, etc. It is kind of cool to see them fly over head and dive for fish. They are lean and streamlined compared to gulls. Very hard little buggers to get shots of because generally we run into them flying, not perching on things. However, on an evening walk down to the harbour in Whitby, mainly to get out and enjoy more refreshing outdoor (and hopefully cooler) air, there were a whole ton of terns compared to our usually spotting of one or 2 here and there among the 300x more prevalent seagulls.
This particular evening, there was a lot of ruckus going on, squawking that sounded not exactly like the terns we are used to hearing but not exactly a seagull. What looked to be hundreds of seagulls out on the spitt that runs parallel to the pier as usual, we soon realized were terns. There were quite a few of them flying around, diving, chasing each other, making quite the noise as they did. There were a lot of little fish jumping so maybe that is why the large amounts of terns around that night. Quite funny to see was the odd tern would do a flyover the group standing together on the spitt which in turn would induce screeching by the ones below at the one flying over with its prize in its mouth.
Terns are difficult so far to get shots of the times I've tried. Probably taking them with a 35 - 70 mm lens as opposed to trying to get them with a 70 - 300 mm lens would make a difference. But anyway, very cool to see them. Funny enough though, the more you see them the more it comes to mind, are they just fancy gulls to most?! lol! Do people find them just as annoying or distasteful? We quite enjoy seeing them and watching them dive for fish. I enjoy taking photos of gulls as really, they can be quite gorgeous, especially in certain light. I have yet to get a good one of a tern though.