Thursday 9 May 2013

Another Day in Paradise (Pacific Golden-Plover)

176 Street and 8th Ave, Surrey and Grant Narrows, Pitt Meadows Sunny 20 c
I missed the flock of Whimbrels that had been reported at 176 Street on Tuesday but at least I ended up with one bird, a Black-bellied Plover. The bird was hanging out in a freshly cut hayfield accompanied by a pair of Kildeer.

*A few days after posting the image I began to have comments from readers about whether the  Plover was actually an American Golden-Plover or perhaps a Pacific Golden-Plover.
After conferring with a number of well respected birders the overwhelming verdict is that it's a Pacific Golden Plover. I suppose this is one of the many reasons birding can be so exiting.
There are a few who will disagree but the calibre of those who voted for PGP make me comfortable to post the results.

Here are some of the comments:

1. Hello John,

Fellow birders (expert) Russell Cannings and Michael Force emailed that it was a Pacific Golden Plover.

I just got your email, the tail looks slightly different in this shot. I might repost on facebook. Lets see what Mike Tabak says for now.


2. John; I also asked Russ and Roger, Jeremiah, Carlo.and Iyla(no response yet).
At this point based on collective opinions  I would say it is completely reasonable to relabel your bird as a Pacific Golden –Plover. Good find! Most adults are brighter than this(more golden and obvious) This is what threw me off at first.
We get a few PGPL each year in our area. Adult birds are more often PGPL than AGPL, while juveniles AGPL are more common than PGPL.

3 Always a pleasure to hear from you. Now this bird was quite a challenge and I can see why Pacific & American were considered one species not that long ago. In my (very) humble opinion, I'll go with pacific golden-plover based on:

1. Upright posture
2. Front-heavy
3. Largish bill

This would be a great photo ID quiz for sites like ABA or magazines like Bird-watching. I always enjoy seeing your photos.



Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

On the way to Grant Narrows I thought would drop into the Little Campbell Fish Hatchery on 184th Street, somewhere I have visited just once before, a visit cut short by a torrential downpour. There were Common Yellowthroat, Rufous Hummingbird, Hammond's Flycatchers, Great Blue Herons, Mallards with a single duckling, House Finch, White-Crowned Sparrow and American Robins. No pictures worth posting, just a nice walk along the forest trails.

Grant Narrows
A pair of Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) try to make a nest at the boat launch but it is doubtful that it will be successful with all the disturbances that come with the upcoming summer boating season

The pair had to re-locate to another location each time a boat came in.

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