Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ruddy Turnstones on The Cape


Thought I'd share some more photos from our East Coast trip this past fall as part of Wild Bird Wednesday. One of the birds that we saw daily on the beach at our Cape Cod rental was the Ruddy Turnstone. There was a small flock of a dozen birds that combed the beach and the rocky breakwall throughout the day.

They were in their non-breeding plumage, which is a soft mottled brownish grey. I love how soft they look and the contrast with their bright orange legs.


The color patterns on their backs are beautiful and when in flock they make a stunning image. Well, they do if you can capture the image (goal for 2013: practice inflight photography!). There's a lovely photo on this blog, 6th image down.

As coastal birds, Ruddy Turnstones nest FAR into the Arctic Circle and migrate along the coasts down to their wintering grounds in California, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

And, they live up to their name. Constantly flipping rocks, shells and seaweed clumps to find tasty morsels:



While this image isn't the best quality due to the light angle, it's one of my favorite images from the Cape Cod portion of our trip. I snapped it one evening while sitting on the breakwall. The turnstone was curious and stayed in that spot for quite awhile studying me. I love the sparkly quality of the photo and whenever I look at it I can smell the briny sea air...



(be sure to check out all the other great posts for WBW!)

19 comments:

  1. Wonderful closeups!!! These are birds yet to be seen:) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. We get those guys too. Lovely sharp shots you took CG.

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  3. Love those bright orange legs!
    Beautiful bokeh in that last shot.
    Wonderful captures!

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  4. large bodies and small heads on these shorebirds. very cute, though.

    thanks for stopping by today!

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  5. Your photos are great. Ruddy Turnstones also spend the summer (southern summer!) down here in Australia but I have never been able to get as close to them as you have. There are lots of small crabs on the sand flats and I have watched them catch and eat them.

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  6. Lots of these on my local beach as well - great little birds.

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  7. Splendid pictures - I took some of the same species last week - although the boat I was on was bobbing about to much to get pictures to match these!

    Its funny to think about a bird which most people have never even herd of being in Australia and with you at the same time.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne.

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  8. Thanks for sharing these pictures! I have never seen a bird like that at my Cape Cod rental before. Nature is really fascinating and I can't wait to see what I'll see this upcoming summer season.

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  9. I like the ones foraging on the shore. Very moody.

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  10. Supposedly ruddy turnstones pass through here on their way to the Arctic. I hope to see some for myself later this spring. I enjoyed reading this post. Well done!

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  11. Ruddy Turnstones are great birds and live up to their name! I love how images can bring back such vivid memories.

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  12. Pretty shots of the Turnstones! They are cool shorebirds!

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  13. Epiphany! So that's why they're "Turnstones" Duh! Thank you.. I particularly like the shot of the Turnstone on the seaweed..wonderful mellow colorations!

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  14. Terrific series of photographs! I learned something new today from reading your wonderful post. I never considered these birds were named after their foraging behavior. I guess I just never thought about it. Very cool! While vacationing on the west coast of Florida, I am always delighted to see these busy birds feeding along the shoreline.

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  15. Ruddy turnstone was a new bird for me this past winter. I took a zillion pictures on the beach near here (in Fort Myers FL)... maybe yours are the same ones flown north ;>). I learned about that behavior that gives them their name because I actually saw them moving piles of shells and pebbles. It was great.

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