09.11.12. Am Goldie revisited
Last night we had a three-way discussion about the reported American Golden Plover at Pickerings Pasture, Halebank, Widnes. Between myself, Frank Duff and Tony Broome. I initially thought that the bird showed a usual amount of white along the flanks and that the photograph recalled the partial summer plumage of a Pacific Golden Plover. But one photograph although interesting can be misleading and begged for some niggling consideration. Tony Broome phoned me and had also came to a similar view and was baffled by the bird. I texted Frank and he also showed interest in the birds identity. Unfortunately work commitments prevented me popping over to Pics today to have a look at the bird but Frank did. He later phoned to say that he thought that the bird may be a late moulting European Golden Plover. His conversation is below.
Went to see the AGP and on reflection and after looking at the available literature I’m not convinced that the bird is not a late moulting European Golden Plover. I saw the underwing and they looked white as the other plovers, bird seemed same size as goldies and didn’t look leggier than any of the others. The day light was poor but I remain to be convinced. The white flanks fit in with ‘Goldie’ moult and don’t fit with AGP.
Field sketches by Bill Morton of two ‘Lesser Golden Plovers’ at Tetney Marshes, Lincolnshire, July 1986.
Although these birds are from late summer they still show what a bird (with retained partial summer plumaged) like the Pickerings Pasture bird could appear like.
If you have the opportunity to go and have a look tomorrow check out its ID features and join in with the discussion. It’s all about learning and gaining experience and all to often birding throws up a curve ball. Eds.
This is the site that covers Pickerings Pasture for directions and more about the work of the volunteers. http://www.thefriendsofpickeringspasture.org.uk/