Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Turnstone

The weather has been awful. Lots of rain. None-the-less I decided to take a trip to the coast yesterday. I had heard that there are commonly Harlequin Ducks at Seal Rock State Park and I was itching to go see. I did see some Harlequins and in much closer than those I saw at Yaquina Head last week.
The stars of the day though were a couple of Black Oystercatchers and a Black Turnstone.
There are a lot of small to large volcanic rocks sticking out of the sand on the beach. These rocks are covered with Barnacles and Mussels and provided a plentiful food source for these three birds. I followed them around the the rocks for a couple hours on and off, taking pictures as they climbed about looking for food.

Unfortunately, it was rather cloudy and the rain slowly intensified as the morning progressed causing the pictures to be a bit soft, but I was able to get in rather close which helped offset the gloomy lighting.
An interesting thing about the the Black Turnstone is that while at rest, they are rather dark colored with a white under belly. But when they fly, their open wings and tail reveal splashes of white. Try as I might, I could not get a descent photo of it in flight, but I decided to include the best image to reveal this trait.

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