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What am I?

Smaller than a redshank, turnstone’s 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.

How to spot them

In winter, the turnstone is dark brown above, with a black pattern on the face and breast, a white chin and white belly. During summer, adults have a colourful, chestnut- and black-chequered pattern on the back. When they fly, turnstone’s show a white patch on the back, broad, white wingbars, and white patches at the base of the tail.

Where to see them

A common winter visitor to our coasts. Small numbers may be found all the year round.

Conservation status

The turnstone is amber listed in the UK (Opens in a new window) .

Did you know?

Known in North America as the ‘ruddy turnstone’, there is also a second species, the ‘black turnstone’, which lives on the Pacific coast of North America.

turnstone bird