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Unusual site fidelity (1 Viewer)

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
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.
 

Captain_of_Crunch

YVdpep_re64
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/2017/09/sligos-slippery-slope-to-ringing.html
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
'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).
 

Selsey Birder

Well-known member
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
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
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.
 

Stephen Dunstan

Registered User
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.
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Richard,

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
 

MTem

Well-known member
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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Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
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.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
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
 

Paul Longland

Well-known member
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?
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
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?
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Thanks Nutty, I had a feeling that it was likely to break the record this year so I must have asked the question before ��
 

Microtus

Maryland USA (he/his)
Supporter
United States
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.
 

CARERY

Well-known member
About ten years back there was a female Black-throated Thrush which returned three years in a row to the very same spot in Denmark... some bird families show a greater degree of site fidelity than others. In passerines its e.g. thrushes, flycatchers and their like that keep territories in winter as well and thus regularly return to the same places.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
... some bird families show a greater degree of site fidelity than others...

Some don’t even get noticed doing it - some species of birds that I know for sure (from ringing data and obs of sites,) that nest in cliff colonies don’t just return to the same cliff but return to exactly the same ledge year in, year out. Kittiwake (noted from Seaford Splash Point colony), studies from the Eleonora’s falcons of San Pietro and others, show a site fidelity thats hard to fathom, even more that they even find it - if you’ve ever scanned a massive cliff colony of breeding birds, spot something interesting, then take ages to find the spot again later!

Not just breeding sites but how about the fidelity to a good feed as borne out by two Turnstones hopping on the first ferry each day from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight then getting the last ‘home’? I wish I had a link to that - I’m sure it wasn’t folklore.

oop me turning it into folklore, it was the St Mawes ferry from Falmouth - their names Fred and Freda https://www.somersetcountygazette.c...d-freeloaders-find-friends-on-st-mawes-ferry/
 
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