Turnstone – 1994

Arenaria interpres – CWTAID Y TRAETH – Largely a winter visitor and passage migrant

Mathew (1894) only recorded Turnstones as rare autumn visitors with no spring records, though by 1949 Lockley et al. (1949) noted its occurrence throughout the year with the smallest numbers, usually immature birds, in mid-summer.

Some Turnstones are present in coastal Pembrokeshire throughout the year. The bulk arrive between August and October, when small parties are seen passing south off Strumble Head, and most depart between late March and May, a few immatures remaining during the summer.

They inhabit weed-strewn rocky areas around the coast, beaches including Wiseman’s Bridge, Freshwater West, Broad Haven (north) and Abermawr, and all of the islands as far out as the Smalls. Being easily overlooked it is impossible to be certain about total numbers present but probably 250 are spread around the outer coastline in an average winter, with a further 100 on the combined estuaries of the Nevern and Cleddau.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Turnstone in Pembrokeshire