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Unusual site fidelity

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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 16:11   #1
Richard Prior
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Unusual site fidelity

The celebrity (in this region at least) Turnstone has returned to winter in the same small bay on Lake Geneve (or Lac Léman if you prefer) today for the 21st consecutive year! I'd love to know the route it takes each year to and from its breeding area, but its incredible (and atypical choice of location) site fidelity made me wonder what other examples people may have, particularly of 'out of normal range' birds. 'Albert' on Hermaness was one that springs to mind but at least it was in a Gannet colony, this Turnstone is a long way from any coast and usually has no company all through the winter except for the odd Common Sandpiper.
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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 17:30   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
The celebrity (in this region at least) Turnstone has returned to winter in the same small bay on Lake Geneve (or Lac Léman if you prefer) today for the 21st consecutive year! I'd love to know the route it takes each year to and from its breeding area, but its incredible (and atypical choice of location) site fidelity made me wonder what other examples people may have, particularly of 'out of normal range' birds. 'Albert' on Hermaness was one that springs to mind but at least it was in a Gannet colony, this Turnstone is a long way from any coast and usually has no company all through the winter except for the odd Common Sandpiper.
For rarities, I think the obvious example is of Ring-billed Gulls returning for many years to wintering sites. Similarly, various rare ducks, geese and waders. Can't really think of any famous returning vagrant passerines, but that may be due to shorter lifespan?

For non-rarities, tracking studies in Wales showed Woodcock returning to the same field over several winters. Ringed Common Gulls also returning to the same site over many years:

http://btoringing.blogspot.co.uk/201...o-ringing.html
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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 22:02   #3
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'Elsie' the Lesser Crested Tern returned to the Farnes every summer for 14 years.

Then of course there's more regular birds like the Manx Shearwaters that returned to the same nest burrows on Bardsey Island (Wales) and Copeland (Northern Ireland) every year for over 50 years. Or the >50 years Fulmar on Eynhallow (Orkney) which outlived the researcher who ringed it as a breeding adult when he was student (his son took over the study).
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 19:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
The celebrity (in this region at least) Turnstone has returned to winter in the same small bay on Lake Geneve (or Lac Léman if you prefer) today for the 21st consecutive year! I'd love to know the route it takes each year to and from its breeding area, but its incredible (and atypical choice of location) site fidelity made me wonder what other examples people may have, particularly of 'out of normal range' birds. 'Albert' on Hermaness was one that springs to mind but at least it was in a Gannet colony, this Turnstone is a long way from any coast and usually has no company all through the winter except for the odd Common Sandpiper.
Hi Rich,

Pleased to hear that your Turnstone returned again, also good to see you last month (when I remember discussing the said Turnstone!)

Ian
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 21:50   #5
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Iceland Gull to the Mersey Mouth for at least thirty years.
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Old Friday 3rd November 2017, 08:04   #6
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Iceland Gull to the Mersey Mouth for at least thirty years.
That was my first one - I thought it got to 21 or 22 yrs old?
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 13:07   #7
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Common ringed plover ringed as (I think) adult female in NW Iceland in 2010, seen in the same small area of Ria Formosa SPA at Santa Luzia annually from 2013-2017, including this autumn. I've seen it myself in 3 of those years.

There are also a few subsequent breeding records of the same bird, interestingly from a couple of different sites in NW Iceland - so wintering site fidelity seems stronger than breeding site.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 13:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
other examples people may have, particularly of 'out of normal range' birds.
There was a female Kentish Plover that wintered in Lancashire, England for several years.

Slightly different but there was a Canada Goose that lived with the domestic geese in the garden at South Walney Nature Reserve which would moult migrate (I assume with other Canadas) then return to the garden.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 13:53   #9
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That was my first one - I thought it got to 21 or 22 yrs old?
Returned for 28 years, but first seen as a third year, so reached thirty years old.

http://www.cheshireandwirralbirdatla...-wintering.htm
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 14:22   #10
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Hi Richard,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
its incredible (and atypical choice of location) site fidelity made me wonder what other examples people may have, particularly of 'out of normal range' birds.
Since at least 2011, there have been records of one Grey-headed Woodpecker male in Hamburg's Duvenstedter Brook. It's pretty far out of range, but frequently heard and sometimes seen, always in the same area, mostly between March and May.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 22:27   #11
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Not up with the above, but my 'friend' JJ03 - a Black headed gull first ringed in near Oslo in spring 2014 has returned to Swanbourne Lake, near Arundel, West Sussex, UK every winter since (and seen by me), and seen back at its ringing location near Oslo every summer in between - and it has reappeared today. Its first sighting back at Swanbourne this winter.

Also although having been sighted at least 20 times over the years it has only been seen at Swanbourne and its ringing site near Oslo.

Mick
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Old Wednesday 31st October 2018, 15:37   #12
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Wintering by the Alps

It's back again, the lake-loving Turnstone reappeared today, so one day earlier than in 2017 (showing uncanny Swiss precision - except it's on the French side of the lake). That will make it the 22nd consecutive year of wintering here.
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Old Wednesday 31st October 2018, 20:32   #13
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Not a rarity, but caught a female Fieldfare in the same orchard in Shropshire in 3 out of 4 winters between 2012 and 2016. Very nice to see such high site fidelity in a supposedly nomadic species in the non-breeding season
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Old Friday 2nd November 2018, 12:51   #14
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Not an unusual location per se but "Elvis" the king Eider has been turning up on the Ythan estuary regular as clockwork for the last few years now. what is unusual is that he turns up in the summer. A case of reverse migration?
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Old Saturday 9th November 2019, 09:33   #15
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It's back again, the lake-loving Turnstone reappeared today, so one day earlier than in 2017 (showing uncanny Swiss precision - except it's on the French side of the lake). That will make it the 22nd consecutive year of wintering here.
Make that 23 consecutive winters, it is once again back on its favourite beach, anyone know what the age record is for Turnstone?
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Old Saturday 9th November 2019, 14:42   #16
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Make that 23 consecutive winters, it is once again back on its favourite beach, anyone know what the age record is for Turnstone?
Looks like a new record!

UK record is 20 years: https://wadertales.wordpress.com/201...g-lived-birds/

Global, the longest I could find mentioned is 22 years: https://yearofnature.blogspot.com/20...urnstones.html
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Old Saturday 9th November 2019, 14:48   #17
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Thanks Nutty, I had a feeling that it was likely to break the record this year so I must have asked the question before ��
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2019, 00:16   #18
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Wow.

Years ago I recall reading about a Lesser Black-backed Gull that wintered on the same lake in upstate New York for about/at least 15 years. I can't remember if it was seen after I read about it.
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