Reports from the Field

Ruddy Turnstones–Perfectly Camouflaged

I came upon these three Ruddy Turnstones near John Point at Point Peron, Rockingham in late February. One of the migratory wader species, they spend the southern summer here before making the journey back to their breeding grounds in northern Asia. Their name is derived from their foraging technique of turning over stones or seaweed wrack looking for sand hoppers and small crustaceans.

These three were moving around, alternating between areas of bare limestone rock and a bed of seaweed wrack. They turned over the wrack by using their head to bulldoze it around to see if there was any prey beneath. Seeing them on the seaweed wrack really brings home how their plumage fits in with their surrounds. To a raptor such as a Peregrine Falcon or Brown Goshawk they would be impossible to spot if they were to nestle down amongst the wrack.

Colin Prickett