Monday, 12 October 2009

European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

OTHER NAMES: Golden Plover
Latin Etymology: Pluvialis ("relating to rain") apricaria ("to bask in the sun")
Two adult Golden Plover (subspecies P. a. apricaria) in Winter plumage at Oare Marshes - September 2011

Featured Subspecies: Pluvialis apricaria apricaria
Weight: 220g  /  Length: 26-29cm  /  Wingspan: 72cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN RED List: Least Concern

In my oppinion, easily one of Britain's most handsome waders, the golden plover is often seen in large flocks in winter in suitable wetland habitat. In summer, it breeds in various highland areas, so realistically it's probably better to aim for seeing them on passage or in winter. The summer bird has a dramatic black front while the winter plumage replaces it with a less striking pale belly. Photographically, it's a medium sized wader, so if you are lucky enough to be in a hide relatively close to them you should have no trouble at all.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadridae
Genus: Pluvialis
Subspecies: P. a. altifrons, P. a. apricaria

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Localised breeding species (38,00-59,000 pairs) and locally abundant Winter visitor (420,000 birds)
 - Birds seen at sites including but not limited to Rutland WaterOare Marshes, Elmley MarshesPitsford Reservoir and once a passage flock at Geddington.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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