Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Three adult Winter Grey Plover (subspecies P. s. squatarola) at Reculver, Kent - February 2014

OTHER NAMES:  Black-bellied plover, Gray plover, Silver plover, Grey sandpiper
Featured Subspecies: Pluvialis squatarola squatarola* (see subspecies notes below)
Weight: 190-280g
Length: 27-30cm
Wingspan: 71-83cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Another estuary specialist, in this case a Winter migrant. Unfortunately this means that ordinarily the UK never gets to see this bird in it's striking black, white and silver summer plumage although I had the great luck to find a single individual in un-seasonal plumage in January amidst dozens of its winter plumaged brethren. As a target for photography, it probably depends very much on position of your vantage point to where they are - they would probably fly off if approached in the open, but hides overlooking roost sites or tidal flats hold the potential for good views.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Pluvialis
Subspecies: either - monotypic OR P. s. squatarola, P. s. cynosuae, P. s. tomkovichi

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally common Wintering species (43,000 individual) and locally common Spring Passage Migrant (70,000 individuals)
 - Common in Winter at ReculverOare MarshesElmley Marshes and Gravesend. 

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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