There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Black Turnstone

Arenaria melanocephala

Short legs
Stocky body
Black head and upper parts (winter plumage)
White belly
Black bill

Listen to its call.

I happened upon a large number of these birds on the rocks at Cattle Point this afternoon. They were feeding on crustaceans at the water's edge and enjoying the sunshine along with the gulls. I was able to sit on a ledge quite close to the birds without alarming them. In fact, I didn't get any reaction from them at all; they seemed quite used to the presence of humans. I did, however, get a reaction from my husband later in the day when he noticed that the my jeans were a bit soiled. Apparently the ledge I chose is a favorite roosting spot for the birds as well.

Learn more about the Black Turnstone.


  1. What a cute bird! Will watch for this one. Glad the song/call is easier to access now. That rocks. Thanks.

  2. I enjoyed reading about how you photographed the birds and laughed out loud when I read about your husband's reaction to your 'soiled' jeans!! Thanks for letting me know about your blog.


  3. Hi, Beth,

    I really like your Black Turnstone. He or she appears to have no neck! But very handsome all the same. Your blog is fun and photos excellent. I look forward to your daily entries and your adventures as you meet birds.