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Conservation status: Amber

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.



Latin name

Arenaria interpres


Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)

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.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--51,000 birds-




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