Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Odd Bird in Biscay Bay

 Last Saturday, Catherine Barrett spotted this particularly odd bird sitting on a distant rock in Biscay Bay.
 I did the best I could to get a shot. Shortly after, the bird disappeared.
There seems to be some sort of dark eye line, the head is small compared to the body, and the wing markings are a peculiar color. We considered but eliminated a seagull and Long-tailed Duck. What we didn't do was identify the bird.


  1. Basic plumage Black Guillemot?

  2. Based on what I can see of the shape and apparent legs, is it possible we are looking at the rear end of a bird here?? Looks like the rear en is facing you/us, the tail tipped up as it picks at something on the water's edge. But it's hard to tell.

  3. In fact, I think this is a Ruddy Turnstone. The white underside, darker topside, apparenty reddish-orange legs, feeding posture (tipped over) and habitat all fit. What initially looked like a dark eye-stripe is actually the dark tail band. This would make a very cool quiz bird! Great puzzle.

  4. Very interesting. I will go back to the original shots and look at it from the new perspective. Thanks, Jared.