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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Turnstone

Hebrides Bird Sightings : Turnstone

Turnstone

(Ruddy Turnstone, Ruddy Turnstone, Flip-brick, Tangle Picker)

Arenaria interpres

Gaelic: Drilleachan-beag

Photograph© Peter Zerfahs
Eolligarry - Barra - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
21st, December, 2006

 

Our Turnstone photographs

Turnstones
Turnstone
Turnstone
Turnstone with a knot
Turnstone
with a knot

 

  • Turnstone (Ruddy Turnstone, Ruddy Turnstone, Flip-brick, Tangle Picker)
  • Arenaria interpres:
  • UK: AMBER LIST. 50,000 birds (winter) BTO
  • UK: Scarce Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
  • WI: Common passage visitor (regulary seen in good numbers) and winter Visitor (regulary seen in good numbers).
    The wintering population of the Uists is of national importance
  • Breeds: Within a few km of sea. Nest is a shallow scrape lined with leaves in vegetation or on bare ground. Eurasia, North America
  • Winters: Africa, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, Americas
  • Habitat: Tundra, machair (migration beaches & rocky coasts)
  • Diet: Creeps & flutters over rocks, foraging food from under seaweed & stones. Insects, crustaceans & molluscs.
  • Smaller than redshank (22-24cm length).
    Mottled brown or chestnut & black above. Head mostly white with black crown streaks & black face pattern. White below but black patch with white sides on breast.
    Breeding birds reddish-brown above with black markings
    Non-breeding adults duller than breeding. Dark grey-brown above (black mottling) mostly dark head. Juveniles pale-brown head, & pale fringes to feathers make a scaly pattern.
    Flight shows white wingbar. Legs bright orange. Forms flocks of up to 100 birds
  • Typical lifespan 9yrs, max recorded age 20yrs
  • Similar birds: Ringed Plover
  • Listen to a turnstone (RSPB site)

The Turnstone is so called because it will turn stones of almost its own body weight, it is veryimpressive to watch it hefting piles of seaweed in search of food.

The Turnstone is found in the UK in most of the year.
July-August and in the spring birds from Northern Europe pass through.
August- September the Canadian and Greenland birds arrive to spend the winter. They leave in April- May.
Non-breeding birds often stay through summer.

 

Turnstone records in the Western Isles

Common passage visitor (regulary seen in good numbers) and winter Visitor (regulary seen in good numbers).
The wintering population of the Uists is of national importance
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

 


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the bird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

Many birds remain in Summer and there is possibility that breeding may have occured here.

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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