Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Pacific Golden Plover on Holy Island...

When news emerged on Sunday evening about a probable Pacific Golden Plover on Holy Island we were keen to give it a go yesterday as it would be a lifer for both of us. We knew it probably wouldn't be an easy twitch, and in the end this proved to be correct!

We arrived just after the causeway cleared at around 09:30, and had a quick scan of Chare Ends where there wasn't a bird to be seen. Walking down the Crooked Lonnen we were only to see a large flock of Golden Plovers flying out of the fields and towards the shore. However, by the time we reached the rocks the birds had disappeared.

We continued to struggle to find any Golden Plovers through the rest of the morning and afternoon, and made the decision to stay in the island over high tide when the birds may congregate more. This also meant we were stuck on the island until 10pm!

After getting a snack in the village early evening, we decided to walk back down the Crooked Lonnen again as this we had seen a few Golden Plovers hidden among the rocks earlier on. This proved to be a good decision as we reached the end of the track to find a flock of 500+ sat on the shore.

We set up our scopes and quite quickly my dad got onto an interesting looking bird. It was smaller and longer-legged looking than the surrounding Eurasians, and over about half an hour we were able to get good views through the scopes, building up the various plumage and structural features to confirm the ID. I also took lots of video of the bird, revealing the crucial grey underwing coverts which helped to separate the moulting adult Pacific Golden Plover from the surrounding Eurasian Golden Plovers. Some of my best videograbs can be found below...

Other birds on the island included 3 Whimbrels and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.

Pacific Golden Plover with Eurasian Golden Plovers

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Saturday, 13 July 2019