Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Day we swim across The Great Water

On Friday there was a plan for us to go on second round in Common Tern colony. Everything sounded great until Goran called me Thursday evening and said that we won't have a boat and we'll need to swim over to the colony. Zec, Vedran and I agreed that it won't be a problem.
We arrived at the scene around half past 8 and started making our way to the place where we took off. The river was not cold (around 20C) but it was very fast, much faster then we remember when we last time crossed it with a boat. Goran (who had kayak with one seat :)) told us that we should walk as far as we can and then jump in the river so that we have as little as possible to swim. Sounds logical, but the problem was that you couldn't stay at one place if the water is above your waist. Vedran was the first one to go.. Zec and I were waiting for few moments and than we started. At first it didn't seem that hard , but as the time was passing the place we wanted to end at the island was going really far from us. I could see the Vedran has reached the shallow water near the island so at one time I tried to get my feet to the ground but it was too deep..That was really bad because I relaxed a little so it was really hard to swim more.. At last we got across!! Finally!!
and we're ready to go ..
It was very nice weather, warm but with few clouds so the chicks and eggs were not threatened with either overheating or freezing. We decided to stay around 45 minutes. We managed to ring 35 new Common Tern chicks and 1 Little Ringed Plover.

Vedran and his new friends

Zec and his new friend.

We found few Common Tern and few Little Tern nests. We also found few nest we are not sure of the parents and I would be grateful for any comments.
What's this? (there's one egg in the middle :))

These eggs were cc 25% bigger than Common Tern eggs

This should be Common Tern but funny thing is that eggs are really different..
The time has come to go back! In the mean time the river is at least 20 cm higher... But we have to go back..
This time I was the first one to go.. I started swimming and first 30 m were ok.. Than I started to panic as the place where I thought I'll get out was going away... some 15 meters before the coast I was almost sure I'll miss the place :( Biggest problem is if I miss this I didn't know where will I get out... And you can not relax on the river as you can in the sea.. Then I managed to touch the ground some 10 meters from the coast :) I barely got the strength to get out.. To swim 60 m  of river we ended 150m lower then we started...

Here is one video clip to illustrate the strength and speed of the Great Water..

Hope we'll be back there in week or to to ring Little Terns.. 

Next week I we plan to visit one Common tern colony in Zagreb..
All of this photos and video of swimming were taken by Goran.

I forgot to mention that we tried our new cannons..They are fast like hell!! We have some things to try beore catching real birds :)


  1. Parent of egg in the middle photo is Little ringed plover.

  2. Thanx for the comment!

    You mean in the first photo? the one where is one very little white egg without nest?