Whilst the English name is incredibly descriptive; they are ruddy in colour and they do turn over stones, I think I prefer their Portuguese name – Rola do Mar – which means Turtledove of the Sea. They are a common bird on the Ria Formosa shores and whilst there are larger numbers in the migratory and winter periods, you will see them here year round.
These ones this morning caught my attention as they fought over a crab. They are fascinating to watch as they turn over stones, sometimes almost as large as they are. This morning the crabs appeared easy to find as a few seconds later another Turnstone was happily digging into a crab. He/she was sensible though and took their crab a few metres away from where all the other Turnstones were!
Their plumage is still very colourful, although as you can see from the next two photographs which were taken in April not quite as bright as their summer plumage.
Cannot see the ‘ruddy’; does this come later in the year?
Much ‘ruddier’ in summer. You can just about see it in the penultimate photo.
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