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A Tide of Turnstones

Free-range Folklore

We visited Titchfiled Haven (Hampshire, UK) a few weekends ago and were delighted by a flurry, or as I have taken to calling them, a tide of turnstones. People often stop to feed the shore birds in the harbour, just outside the Visitors Centre, and so these turnstones were the tamest I have ever encountered.

I couldn’t find a collective noun for a group of turnstones and so I called them a tide, as there is an ebb and flow to their busyness.

In folklore they represent journey, change, and adaptability and in Native American cultures, the turnstone is seen as a good luck messenger from the spirit world.

In the Celtic tradition they speak to the observer of transformation, change and as a trickster. In Japanese folklore they are also seen as tricksters which leads me to wonder how these little birds are tricking us. Perhaps it’s their excellent camouflage as they nest on the shore and if they sit very still their markings blend in perfectly with the pebbles on the beach.

To me they speak of working together, community and overcoming challenges. What does the turnstone say to you?

Cerridwen's Cauldron
Cerridwen's Cauldron