The Turnstone

It's always fun to watch Turnstones on our shingle beaches as they turn the stones and pebbles of a beach as their name suggests.  They are much more numerous during the winter months, and each year about 50,000 Turnstones spend the winter months on our beaches where they search for insects, invertebrates, and small crustaceans to eat.

The Turnstone is quite a small wader that is about 23 cm long.  In the summer they go to the high Arctic of the north west to breed in Canada and Greenland on the tundra, but they are only gone for a few months between late May and September.  Some non breeding birds stay around our coasts and shingle beaches all summer.  They can also be found along the European coast and the  European winter population of Turnstones is probably similar to the British population.

The images below were taken at a variety of locations in both Kent and Norfolk.

Its unusual to see Turnstones in the snow, but in January 2013, I was lucky enough to see and photograph some images of Turnstones in the snow along the North Norfolk coast.