Leaving no stone unturned

Turnstones do what it says on the label!

One of the first lessons I learned when I started bird watching nearly forty years ago was that where a bird is and what it is doing is often enough to know exactly what species you are looking at even if you cannot see its plumage markings and colouring. This is actually true of many types of wildlife, especially some insects, but it is most noticeable with some species of birds.


This is as good an example as I can think of. A bird, working its way along the water’s edge on a stony shore as the tide is going out and what is it doing? Turning stones over to look for small creatures hiding underneath … no need to rush for the field guide! In this case, just to make it even easier, they named it the turnstone (Arenaria interpres), what could be easier than that?

Seriously, waders can be a real challenge, even to experienced birders so it is good to find one that is quite so distinctive.

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