Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Semipalmated Plover

Along with the Red-necked Phalarope I saw at Fernhill on Sunday were two or three Semipalmated Plovers. I got a couple of very poor pictures of one the week before, but not good enough to be confident in its identification. These pictures would have been even better had the Plover been closer, but it didn't wander as close to me as the Phalarope. There were Killdeers mixed in with the Plovers much of the time and it was hard to tell them apart from the distance they were at most of the time. Other than being smaller, the Plovers also have a single band across their chest rather than the Killdeer's two. So if they have their back to you (which they did a lot) it's a little difficult to be sure which you are looking at.
Another thing of interest is that this is either a juvenile or an adult transitioned to its non-breeding, winter plumage. During breeding season, the adult's chest band and head are much darker.

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