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Turnstone on Southend Pier, Essex, England - August 2009 | by SaffyH
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Turnstone on Southend Pier, Essex, England - August 2009

There were over 50 of these little waders resting on the Pier. They were very bold and feared neither the humans passing them by closely or the trains.


Latin name

Arenaria interpres



Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)



Smaller than a redshank, turnstones have a mottled appearance with brown or chestnut and black upperparts and brown and white or black and white head pattern, whilst their underparts are white and legs orange. They spend most of their time creeping and fluttering over rocks, picking out food from under stones.


Where to see them

All around the UK coastline. Likes rocky shores as well as sandy and muddy ones. Particularly likes feeding on rocks covered with seaweed, and will feed along seawalls and jetties.


When to see them

Present for most of the year. Birds from Northern Europe pass through in July and August and again spring. Canadian and Greenland birds arrive in August and September and remain until April and May. Non-breeding birds may stay through the summer.


What they eat

Insects, crustaceans and molluscs.


Estimated numbers

Europe UK breeding* UK wintering* UK passage*

- - 52,390 birds -


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Taken on August 8, 2009