not rare species, but rare colored Black Turnstone


marlin harms
 

On April 29 of this year, just before turnstones migrate to the far north, I saw a Black Turnstone on Cayucos Beach (north of the pier, near the rocky point) with very bright orange legs and orange on the basal portion of the bill. These colors are very uncommon in this species.   See this photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlinharms/52040537111/
This morning, on the same part of the same beach, I saw an individual with these same colored legs and bill, which are very, very unusual for this species. I am assuming it is the same bird. 
Which brings to my mind the question of how many of the other Black Turnstones, which seem to look identical to each other, are the same individuals we saw last year, before spring and fall migration. And the same question goes for other species as well. Of course there is some mortality and, after the breeding season, some recruitment. But still, the question lingers. (I realize there have been individual band studies and I know the individually marked curlew, Dozer, has returned to local beaches.) And I'm curious to hear from anyone who thinks I am overreaching by assuming this is the same individual--directed to me, not to slocobirding. Thanks.

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay


Kaaren Perry
 

Thanks for the update Marlin.  I recall our discussion last April regarding this bird (or similar?). and the fact that I had photographed and reported a look-alike at the very same location on Cayucos Beach 4 months earlier on Dec.7 2021. (see flickr link below).

I would speculate with some assurance that your's today is the same bird making a third appearance considering the same location and distinctive coloration.   Despite seeing thousands of BLTU I had never seen one with this coloration until Dec. 7, 2021, at Cayucos Beach.  Gotta love the odd one that helps us recognize the returning ones.
And as we ponder, how many of our very same wintering birds come back to us, our yards, beaches and parks year after year. When I was a early birder I had a friend who was always finding a single Northern Waterthrush at the very same creek several years in a row.  Amazed at his talents and then I finally put two and two together… my friend knew when and where because of his annual records and more than likely the same bird was repeating the occurrence, almost to the date. 

If nature was simple, we wouldn't still be learning!


Kaaren

Kaaren Perry

On Aug 9, 2022, at 2:36 PM, marlin harms <marlin93442@...> wrote:

On April 29 of this year, just before turnstones migrate to the far north, I saw a Black Turnstone on Cayucos Beach (north of the pier, near the rocky point) with very bright orange legs and orange on the basal portion of the bill. These colors are very uncommon in this species.   See this photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlinharms/52040537111/
This morning, on the same part of the same beach, I saw an individual with these same colored legs and bill, which are very, very unusual for this species. I am assuming it is the same bird. 
Which brings to my mind the question of how many of the other Black Turnstones, which seem to look identical to each other, are the same individuals we saw last year, before spring and fall migration. And the same question goes for other species as well. Of course there is some mortality and, after the breeding season, some recruitment. But still, the question lingers. (I realize there have been individual band studies and I know the individually marked curlew, Dozer, has returned to local beaches.) And I'm curious to hear from anyone who thinks I am overreaching by assuming this is the same individual--directed to me, not to slocobirding. Thanks.

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay