As promised, I’m back and as foreshadowed it’s another post featuring a bird. If it is any consolation I promise this will be the last bird post … for the month. If you recall, I was looking through the Ft. Myers’ collection when I spotted the Black-Bellied Plover featured a couple of posts ago. This happens to be the bird I was actually looking for at the time.
I wanted to make sure my crappy shots at the Emiquon floodle were not of a Ruddy Turnstone – which is the bird for today’s post. I was sure it was in the tin already and just wanted to double back and confirm my latest shot wasn’t a morphing Ruddy. It checked out against these Ruddy specimens, but in that same set found the perfect match I used in the Plover post. Since I was already in there, figured it would be a good time to go ahead and post it and more importantly get my official +1 for the Birding Life List.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this stunning shorebird.
As far as shorebirds go, this one ranks in the upper echelons of coolness. Those dark brown and blacks contrasting against the white is quite stunning, not to mention distinctive against the grays/tans of the beach. One thing for sure, there are a number of other +1’s in the Ft. Myers’ shoot that definitely need to get their day on the blog. If nothing else to keep myself within earshot of my brother’s birding count which I’m sure has bolted past my paltry number. Luckily he wasn’t bitten by the birding bug (well, at least as much) or he would have been tossing up similar +1’s. Pretty sure he went back to Florida after our visit and filled a number of those gaps. He does get credit for a few of the …let’s just say … sooooft shots he took at our shoot. One of those birds was the Turnstone. Funny enough, I managed to save him some travel time by reminding him he already had the Turnstone rather than driving out to a local sighting. New birding rule… if you do not remember you took a picture of it, it should only count for like a half point.
For reference, these shots were taken at the secret lagoon in Ft Myers. This spot is probably third on my all list of favorite birding locations. Because you are my loyal readers, I’ll let you in on the secret – the lagoon is behind the Ft. Myers’ Holiday Inn ….shhhhhhhh… don’t tell anyone, especially those individuals on the birding forums that have decided to keep the locations of bird sightings secret because they don’t want anyone to disturb the birds. Translated, they don’t want anyone ELSE getting shots – it has nothing to do with the bird’s safety based on knowing how close they were to the sighted bird based on the shots they published. Unlike them I want to get people excited about birding and if that means a bird might have to actually flap its wings to scamper a few feet away .. so be it. Go there and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and learn what all of us bird enthusiasts already know – birding is one of the most enjoyable and healthy hobbies you can take up. Do be considerate though – treat them how you would want to be treated in a similar situation.
As far as health goes, I actually run for the specific purpose of being able to hike all day looking for my feathered friends. Somehow my brother can also hike all day with me and he proudly proclaims he wants a 0.0 sticker for his car window. Not exactly sure how he does that, but it will be interesting to see how much the weight of his new camera impacts his outings.
Time is getting late and I have a bunch of work to get done tonight for my day job. Let’s check out our friends at Cornell and see what interesting facts I can bestow on you. This one totally escaped me until reading it – the Turnstone name is in recognition of its feeding behavior of turning over stones looking for invertebrates – and that is about it from Cornell – weak. A quick check of Wikipedia had a few more tidbits worth mentioning. They are highly migratory spending most of their time on the coastlines. Their young are born precocial meaning they are basically able to leave the nest and forage soon after they are born. Learn about birds and possibly learn a new word – this site has it all (hehehe). They do carry the Least Concern Conservation Status (yeah) and are known to crank the Clash when hanging out on the beach.
You think you’re pretty hot
In your pork pie hat
But…Rud[d]ie can’t fail
Look out, look out…
Sky juice!…10 cents a bottle
…sorry, but the lyrics to that song crack me up – me guesses major druggage.
Best of luck to all my friends going through some potentially tough times tomorrow.