Sunday 13 October 2013

Grey Plover at Davidstow

After a fairly quiet day down West on Saturday, I decided to check out Crowdy and Davidstow today.  There were very few waders at either site but six Ruff and a Dunlin were seen at the back of Crowdy Res.  At Davidstow, one Ringed Plover flew high over calling but Brian Craven put me on to this confiding Grey Plover.  Based on the streaking on the lower flanks, the black spangling on the upperparts tinged with yellow, I'm judging this is a first year bird.  This is the first one I've seen here, or come to that, at any inland site. 

Grey Plover is a world-wide species, breeding in the high arctic tundra and wintering as far south as Australia, South America and South Africa. The species breeds from its second year. First year birds remain on the wintering grounds until mature enough to breed.  Numbers in Cornwall have seriously declined over the last ten years.  eg in 2009 just 18 birds were recorded wintering in December compared to 160 in 1999.

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