Arenaria interpres

What do they look like?

In Summer Turnstones have a colourful appearance with a mottled reddish brown back and tail, a white belly and a black and white pattern around the head and chest. In Winter they have a more muted appearance with a grey mottled back and white belly. They have a medium length black bill and orange legs, and in flight display thick white bars across the wings and white patches at the base of the tail and on the back.

When can I see them in Scotland?

All year.

Where can I see them in Scotland?

Turnstones can be seen all around the coast of Scotland on all types of beaches, and will even feed along jetties and seawalls. They have a varied diet but mostly eat insects, small crustaceans and molluscs.

Conservation Status:

In the UK, bird species with breeding, passage or wintering populations are assessed by experts and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green lists of conservation concern. Turnstones are currently an ‘Amber’ listed species.

54 cm
22-24 days
19-21 days
9 years
Average lifespan

Turnstone standing on a rock
©Michal Wolowik