Turnstones with nowhere to land

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Usually there are plenty of places around Battery Point for these little waders to rest and feed. As their name suggests they turn stones, pebbles and seaweed searching for food.

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However, when the sea rises too high, landing places for the turnstones are in very short supply.  With today’s 14.6 m high tide all of the salt marsh and most of the rocks are underwater.  So the turnstones fly back and forth looking for a spot of dry land.

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At first they jostle for a place on a raft of flotsam swept against the promenade wall.

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But when this becomes too precarious they resort to the top of the wall and promenade with the rest of us.

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The Bristol Channel turnstones are typically wary of people but today they had little choice.

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Sometimes a flock of turnstones will cadge a lift on large tree trunks floating up the channel.  I heard another report of a channel navigation buoy festooned with turnstones on a similarly high tide.

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While I was not very happy with the finished turnstone sketches, I learnt a lot in the process. In a detailed study the background is either non-existent or secondary. However here I was trying to depict birds in context ie within their natural habitat. So this always makes it more difficult.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Hilary
    Just been catching up with your posts……all fascinating and beautifully observed as ever; particularly enjoyed the turnstones’ sketches and narrative – such busy little birds and you know them so well!

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