Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ruddy Turnstones

One of the first shorebirds I could identify for sure as a kid was a ruddy turnstone. They have very distinctive markings, are not very shy and if you watch them long enough they do exactly what their name suggests. They turn over stones to look for food.These guys were found at Dowse's Beach in Osterville this week. There were about a dozen mixed in with the local winter sanderlings. Turnstones don't generally winter here though they are seen sporadically. I don't know if these have been here all winter or if they are early arrivals on their way north. They are in winter plumage that is turning.
They have the most wonderful markings.
Here is one getting behind a stone or shell to turn it over.
What did it find? Mostly they are looking for invertebrates to eat such as worms, small crabs, etc.
In this picture above you can see the orange on the legs. Have you ever seen one of these birds?

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