Sunday, 2 April 2017

Bird of the week - Turnstone

The turnstone is one of our most approachable small waders. 

The turnstone is Arenaria interpres, the messenger from the sand.

We mainly see turnstones in non-breeding plumage as they are winter visitors in the British Isles.  They can be found all around our coasts.

A few non-breeding birds remain in the summer.

This is where turnstones breed in Europe (from the EBCC Atlas).

Turnstones are circumpolar birds and are also common in North America, where they are known as ruddy turnstones. There they have a longer migration and some birds travel as far as Australia or New Zealand.

Thomas Bewick engraved this turnstone for A History of British Birds (1832).

Archibald Thorburn painted turnstones several times.

This one is with a grey plover (centre) and a golden plover (right).

This one is with a ringed plover (L) and a Kentish plover (R).

John James Audubon painted this plate for Birds of America.

You can listen to the BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day here.

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