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Turnstone

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A frequent species on stoney shores and around seaweed.


 

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

Turnstone: leaving no stone unturned

Post date: Sunday, 11 January, 2015 - 00:00

One of the first lessons I learned when I started bird watching nearly forty years ago was that where a bird is and what it is doing is often enough to know exactly what species you are looking at even if you cannot see its plumage markings and colouring. This is actually true of many types of wildlife, especially some insects, but it is most noticeable with some species of birds.

This is as good an example as I can think of. A bird, working its way along the water’s edge on a stony shore as the tide is going out and what is it doing? It is turning stones over to look for small creatures hiding underneath … no need to rush for the field guide! In this case, just to make it even easier, they named it the turnstone (Arenaria interpres), what could be easier than that?

Seriously, waders can be a real challenge, even to experienced birders so it is good to find one that is quite so distinctive.

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Turnstone
Scientific Name Arenaria interpres
Status Frequent
Interest Level
2
Species Family Sandpipers
Visible
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Preferred Environment
  • Shingle beaches
  • Mudflats
  • Sandy shore
Look for Smallish waders along the strand line turning over sea weed looking for flies
Additional Identification Notes
  • Quite common on shingle beaches and around rocks at low tide
  • They do turn stones over looking for food and are also keen on examining the strand line too
  • Seen all year but numbers are boosted by incoming migrants in the winter months