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Beach newcomer: a Ruddy Turnstone

Small bird with dark back and white lower half on the beach.
Photo by Miraz Jordan.

The other morning on the beach by Waiorongomai Stream I spotted a group of Kuaka Godwit doing their thing then realised one bird looked quite different. I believe this is a Ruddy turnstone — I haven’t spotted them around here before.


Length: 21 - 24 cm; Weight: 84 - 190 g; Similar species: Shore plover | Tuturuatu

A medium-sized stocky wading bird with a short dark bill with slightly upturned tip, short neck and short orange-red legs. The head, neck and breast are boldly pied black-and-white and it has ‘tortoiseshell’ plumage on the back, which is reddish-brown with blackish-brown patches on the back and upper wings, contrasting with the white underparts.

This makes #58 on the Big List of Waikawa Beach Birds. That’s the second addition in just a few weeks — last one was Kererū.

This item was updated on Tuesday 06 December 2022

I live at Waikawa Beach and love all the wildlife, fauna and flora.