Skip to content

A young turnstone

Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) juvenile
Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) juvenile

I came across this turnstone on the edge of the Ria Ortigueira. It was busily feeding – yes they really do turn over stones! – looking for invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, molluscs) along the shoreline. It looked young, and was extremely ‘confiding’ as bird watchers say. Almost fool hardy in fact; not flying or moving away as I hovered above it taking photos. Maybe it was tired, or just innocent?  Some Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) populations overwinter in West Africa, and fly to these warmer climes over northern Spain. Perhaps this little chap was en passage? It was mid September, so if it was headed for Africa it needed to get a move on!

Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) juvenile
Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) juvenile

A small number of turnstones do overwinter in Spain, however, particularly in inlets and Rias such as where I came across this bird in Ortigueira, Galicia (1). I am used to seeing turnstones in Scarborough; there are always some near the lighthouse at the entrance to the port. Our birds probably breed in Greenland and have never been to Spain!

Turnstones are common – with a global population between c.460,000-800,000 individuals according to BirdLIfe International (2) – and widespread, and – breathe a sigh of relief – are evaluated as being of Least Concern.

  1. Eduardo de Juana & Ernest Garcia (2015).  The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN Number: 978-1-40812-480-2
  2. http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=3034

rcannon992 View All

I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Q13 FOX News

Seattle and Western Washington's source for breaking news, weather, and sports. Home of Washington’s Most Wanted and the Seattle Seahawks.

Spanish Linguist

a linguist writes about Spanish

Ray Cannon's nature notes

Every picture tells a story

Too Lazy To Weed

The not so ordinary wildlife of an ordinary (but scruffy) garden

Nature etc.

Books, birds and tales from the wild

Juha Lappalainen photography

The way I see the world around me...

Wandering with Butterflies

and other Lepidoptera

Andrew Szopa-Comley

Exploring the natural world.

Ewa Ludwiczak

Watercolour Painting and Illustration

lepscience

A fine WordPress.com site

Macro Photography in Nature

Still sweating the small stuff.

Mia Elizabeth Croft

Ecology, Conservation & Insects

Blogs from the Natural History Museum

Inspiring a love of the natural world

Chris Foster

A naturalist in progress

Mi blog de bichos

Un rincón sobre nuestros artrópodos

%d bloggers like this: