Ruddy Turnstone and terns

This afternoon, Nick Thomas reported a Ruddy Turnstone at the dam at Bald Eagle SP. Unfortunately for me, I was stuck in class for the next three hours but I made plans to head out there right after class with a group of birders. After stopping at about 5 different places to pick up people or optics, we were finally on the road and made it to Bald Eagle a little after 6pm.

Access is limited to the part of the dam where the turnstone was reported so we had to settle for distant views from along the road. The distance really limited any photography but I included both a video and a digiscoped shot I took of the turnstone. I think this illustrates well that in poor conditions, a low quality video can show more than a low quality photo.

Distant shot of the turnstone with about full magnification on both the scope and camera.

In addition to the turnstone, we had 4 species of Terns: Common, Forster’s, Black and Caspian. I was most excited about the Common and Black Terns as they were firsts for the fall. They also seem to be the hardest to see in Centre County.

bar charts for the four species of terns seen today

Alex got some photos of the Common Tern and Black Tern. We have been lamenting the recent gloomy weather that, although excellent for bringing us good birds, has been absolutely maddening for getting good photographs. Hopefully the sun will come out again over the weekend and we can switch back to warbler mode for a bit.

Black Tern

Common Tern