The Turnstones put in an a couple of appearances on our local cliff in December 2002, and were not been seen again until the following December. Meanwhile, these first two birds were photographed patrolling the muddy banks of a creek at Keyhaven.

There was no trouble identifying them - they were turning over the stones with their bills just like the book says.

Photographs (above and left) April 2003

All pictures will enlarge

The Turnstone is essentially a Winter visitor.

Photographs (left) - September 2004

However, in May 2005, this group were still lingering at Barton, all dressed up in their Summer Plumage, but seemingly in no hurry to go anywhere.

Photographs (above) - May 2005

The three birds featured in these five photographs were returning migrants, spotted in early August, again still in Summer Plumage.

Photographs - August 2006

Photographs (above and right) - May 2006

Although the Summer plumage looks quite bright, the picture on the right shows how it works as camouflage too - especially if you imagine the bird sitting on a nest, with that white breast and orange legs hidden.

(The onlooker is one of the local Rock Pipits)

Sometimes the Turnstones are accompanied by a few Purple Sandpipers. When they take flight, the difference is clear from the tail markings - see the Purple Sandpiper page for more pictures.


Photograph (left) - January 2005


The following pictures, taken in April 2011 show why the Turnstones like this particular bit of coast. They also look to me as if they might be a family group.

Click here to view a short video of a couple of Turnstones enjoying a good wash.

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