The Black Turnstone is one of the sandpipers that winters along the entire Pacific Coastline of the United States and of parts south. You may have seen my fairly recent post of Turnstones bathing on the shores of Tomales Bay, which was a good introduction to this delightful bird. Today I am sharing more detailed, portrait style shots of the Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala), that folks may see some of the more subtle hidden colors in its feathers and the textures of its shape.
The photographs of this two-toned sandpiper were taken one day while I was kayaking the waters of Drake’s Estero, a marvelous and relatively unknown inlet of the Pacific Ocean. I saw several turnstones probing and marching through the exposed rocks of low tide, and set my kayak so that the slight breeze and tide would drift me near them. I got lucky, as I drifted closer than planned, and was able to capture these very detailed portraits.
If you would like to see the Black Turnstone in action, you can watch a brief experiment I did into video on another day while kayaking on Tomales Bay, as I shot Black Turnstones feeding.