Monday, August 6, 2012

a Pistorian turnstone

I had 7 species of shorebird at Tiscornia earlier today.  It usually takes a pretty big front to produce diversity of numbers (I think our max was double digits in the aftermath of the record breaking low in October of 2010), and a big storm did come through 36 hours ago.  Unfortunately yesterday was a Sunday bringing crowds of people to the beach and at least 2 swimmers were fatally swept away in what reportedly were 6-8 foot waves.  Today the lake was calm and birds had accumulated on the rip-rap that had washed in.  They felt like a cosmic 30 pieces of silver. 

Unlike the juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper from last fall, this adult was not as confiding.
You can tell by the replaced scapulars and the worn wing coverts it's an adult.
It took me several tries to guess which direction it was going to work its way towards for it to get even reasonably close.

No such difficulties with the birds foraging in the scum lines, here a juvie Semi Sandpiper
There were 2 Turnstones mixed in with the Sanderlings as well
One of them (the lead out of focus bird) was missing much of a foot though it didn't slow it down very much.
True to its name, the turnstone picked, probed, and rotated one of the shell clumps:

A juvie Least Sandpiper was on the pier, this was probably the best shot I've had of a Least in nice fresh plumage
At close range it has a bit of a split supercilium.   All it has to do is wander 100 miles west, get some mud on its legs, and let stint psychosis explode the Illinois forums.

Finally a bird from last week, one of two Piping Plovers that didn't really fit into a post.

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