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Rick Bowes | profile | all galleries >> All galleries - photos 2012 and earlier >> Miscellaneous Galleries >> Golden Plover on Duxbury Beach (MA) by 2nd Crossover 09-16-2009 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Golden Plover on Duxbury Beach (MA) by 2nd Crossover 09-16-2009

This immature bird was with a single Black-bellied Plover. These documentation photos were taken into the setting sun on a largely cloudy evening - ie., light was terrible. The bird was skittish, and despite very slow stalking, I could not get close.

After looking at various books, I wondered if strength of the wing bar evident in flight (see last photo) suggests a small chance that this isn't an American Golden Plover. The guides suggest various criteria that (pg 392 in Shorebirds (Hayman)) are hard to determine from this set of pictures - contrast pix 1 & 5 - as to "chunkiness" and thigh length. Also the color of the bird was a pretty bright golden brown (not the grayish feel that the books describe) - which isn't very evident in the photos. However, the obvious supercilium and "ear patch" as well as the fact that any other species has no business being here mean that this almost certainly (like 99.9%) is an American Golden.

I was also interested that I did not see in any of the books the white ring at the base of the bill which was quite pronounced in this individual (esp pix 3). It is strong enough that you'd think it would be remarked on as a field mark.
Golden Plover - DBCH - opp 2nd xover
Golden Plover - DBCH - opp 2nd xover
Golden Plover with B-bellied- DBCH - opp 2nd xover.jpg
Golden Plover with B-bellied- DBCH - opp 2nd xover.jpg
Golden Plover showing white mark at base of bill
Golden Plover showing white mark at base of bill
Golden Plover  - Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover - Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover  - Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover - Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover  - showing undertail coverts -Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover - showing undertail coverts -Duxbury Beach MA
Golden Plover imm - underwing  unmarked
Golden Plover imm - underwing unmarked
Golden Plover imm - shows slight wing bar and plain tail
Golden Plover imm - shows slight wing bar and plain tail