Black Turnstones

posted in: Birds, British Columbia, Lens Friends | 22


Our latest visit to British Columbia gave us the opportunity to check off many different species of birds, ducks and shore birds.

The Black Turnstone was spotted on a rainy day while visiting Whiffin Spit.  This was the same day we saw the Whiffin Spit Christmas tree.  If you missed the post about that you can view it here.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

This species loves the rocky Pacific coast.  It’s a medium sized, short legged shore bird about 20-25 cm long.a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

I love all the barnacles on the rocks in this photo.  This bird will peck inside the barnacles to find food.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

The black turnstone is a native of the west coast and breeds only in Alaska and as per its name it can be found turing stones to hunt for food.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

It feeds on barnacles, mollusks, crustaceans and insects.  We spotted a pair of them digging in the shore on the Pacific side of Whiffin Spit.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

Colouring in winter is brown with a white belly.  The wings have a lovely pattern on them.  We did see them in flight but I wasn’t able to capture a photo of them. It was a very rainy day and I didn’t want the camera exposed to the rain much.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

When I wasn’t using the camera I had it tucked inside a plastic bag.  I also had a large umbrella to protect me.  But it was really hard trying to take photos and hold an umbrella.

a black turnstone at Whiffin Spit, BC ©

I’m sharing with Wild Bird WednesdayI’d Rather B Birdin’ and Saturday’s Critters.


Have a look at some of the other BC birds we have spotted.

22 Responses

  1. Eileen

    Hello, The Black Turnstones are pretty birds. Awesome series of photos. Sounds like you were in a great spot for birding and scenery. Thank you so much for linking up your post. I appreciate your visit and comment too. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      We got home last Tuesday when it was mild and rainy. Unfortunately we are here for this cold spell, but it could of been worse we could of been here when you had the frigid temperatures a week or so ago. We are having our second Christmas with our Ontario family so the kitchen is warm from the oven and smells delicious from the turkey cooking. Stay warm this weekend.

  2. Kim

    Such pretty birds! I’m not familiar with them at all, so it’s a delight to read your post and see the photos. I get to learn something new! Enjoy your second Christmas — I think your area missed all the snow, but after bare ground yesterday, we have at least a foot of the white stuff, probably more, to contend with. I think I’d rather take my chances of an earthquake on the west coast, sans snow. LOL.

  3. Jean

    Wonderful photos, also enjoyed following your link and reading about the Christmas tree, such a fun idea! I’m afraid if I were holding an umbrella and using a camera, I’d drop one and I doubt it would be the umbrella!

  4. Margy

    You did good despite the rain challenges. I get to go home tomorrow. Can’t wait. We’ve been away for a month over the holidays. Glad you had a good trip to visit family in our part of the world. – Margy

    • Linda aka Crafty Gardener

      When we were in Comox I saw the sign to Powell River, and gave you a wave, even though you weren’t there. Perhaps one day in the nicer weather when we are there we’ll be able to take the ferry over to see you. It is always nice to get home even though we love going away.

  5. Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'

    I’ve not seen this particular bird. Excellent images. I skso enjoyed your commentary.

    I want to thank you for showing us at I’d Rather B Birdin’ your weekend photos!! Your paticipation is always greatly appreciated.

  6. Breathtaking

    Hello!:) Super captures of the Turnstones. It’s the first time I have seen “Black” Turnstones. I’m glad you were able to get such great images in spite of the bad weather.

  7. Angie

    I also like the shot with the barnacles – it helps me gauge the size of the bird!

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