Saturday, 21 March 2020

Ruddy Turnstone


Looking out at the boats moored in the harbour at Saint Jean de Luz in September last year I kept seeing birds flickering past the corner of my eye. I couldn't get a proper bead on them for ages. Then a couple landed on a jetty quite a way from me. After that they moved and landed on a nearer jetty and finally sat there long enough for me to get photographs.

Saint Jean de Luz harbour. Pyrenees-Atlantiques. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

They turned out to be Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (Fr. Tournepierre à collier), a bird I have never knowingly seen before. Very attractive little waders with pretty slightly rusty wings, white backs, bellies and bibs, orange legs and salt and pepper streaked crowns.
 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres. Pyrenees-Atlantiques. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.


They are very long distance migrants, wintering in the southern hemisphere as far away as South Africa and Australia, and breeding in the high Arctic. In between some of them spend time on the Atlantic coast of France.

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2 comments:

Sheila said...

I googled these to get a closer look. The Cornell Lab describes them as being like a calico cat, which seems appropriate. Apparently they are found in North America, but although I've lived on both coasts, I don't recall ever seeing one. Some over winter in Australia according to Cornell.

Susan said...

Calico cat is a very good comparison I think.

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