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Unusual site fidelity (1 Viewer)

Britseye

Well-known member
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/

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. (I was seriously thinking I might go look at them next week on my way up through Cornwall, but then I saw it was 2004:-C)
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
There was a Laysan Albatross that wintered in a cove at Point Arena, California, for about 20 years, from sometime in the 90s until a few years ago. Was a local sensation/celebrity of sorts, bobbing around by the pier and hanging out with the surfers.
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Richard - how do you know it is the same individual throughout the period? I can't imagine the 'authorities' accepting a seven year extension to the longevity record without some firm evidence.

Steve
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Steve-sorry for the delay in answering, I have trawled through all the records for Haute Savoie to check a few things.
Of course, an unringed bird with no distinguishing plumage feature/oddity to make it stand out as the same individual may well be unacceptable to the World birding authorities. The evidence is pretty convincing though, I ‘ve been trying to think of a comparison for you. Haute-savoie is landlocked like Leicestershire but twice the size and further from the sea, Turnstone is very rare, it’s a description species. Discounting this wintering individual which arrives end October/early November, in the past 23 years there have been just five records in the Département, all of migrating birds in late August/early September. Let’s imagine a UK scenario: I’ll make a guess that eg. Purple Sandpiper is very rare in Leicestershire, if one turned up at eg, Rutland Water in 1996, wintered and the same site hosted a single Purple Sandpiper for the next 23 years the balance of probability would tilt towards it being the same bird, n’est-ce pas?
( I’ll obviously never cut it as a lawyer/solicitor), I rest my case Milud;)
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Steve-sorry for the delay in answering, I have trawled through all the records for Haute Savoie to check a few things.
Of course, an unringed bird with no distinguishing plumage feature/oddity to make it stand out as the same individual may well be unacceptable to the World birding authorities. The evidence is pretty convincing though, I ‘ve been trying to think of a comparison for you. Haute-savoie is landlocked like Leicestershire but twice the size and further from the sea, Turnstone is very rare, it’s a description species. Discounting this wintering individual which arrives end October/early November, in the past 23 years there have been just five records in the Département, all of migrating birds in late August/early September. Let’s imagine a UK scenario: I’ll make a guess that eg. Purple Sandpiper is very rare in Leicestershire, if one turned up at eg, Rutland Water in 1996, wintered and the same site hosted a single Purple Sandpiper for the next 23 years the balance of probability would tilt towards it being the same bird, n’est-ce pas?
( I’ll obviously never cut it as a lawyer/solicitor), I rest my case Milud;)

I'd say the continuity tips the scales: there are plenty of places that have hosted more than one bird of the same species (Ythan for King Eider or Largo Bay for Surf Scoter are UK classics) but either (gulls and often wildfowl) the successor arrives as a recognisably different age to the vanished returner or there's a gap of a year or so to clue you that the king is dead.

One exception to this would be the Hermaness Black-browed Albatross that took a sabbatical for a few years before resuming its residency.

John
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Thanks Richard. I had not realised how scarce/rare any Turnstone record is in that area. Your comparison with Purple Sandpiper here is probably quite apt.

Steve
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
I bet that’s a heartwarming sight for you - it seems kinda sad, that it spends every Christmas alone though o:D

No, it should be OK as it invariably pals up with a wintering Common Sandpiper and as you know, it only takes two to pull a Christmas cracker;)
It will be a heartwarming sight to see once we are allowed to venture more than 1km from home ( French lockdown restrictions).
 

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