Saturday 18 June 2022

Pacific Golden Plover at Stithians Res. June 2022

 An adult Pacific Golden Plover was found at Stithians Reservoir in front of the Stuart Hutchings hide on Wednesday 15th June by Charlotte Foote and Thomas Weston. They were convinced that it was a Pacific from the outset, having seen one in Norfolk last year, but were persuaded by a national information service that it was an American. Perseverance pays as local birders including John Ryan soon confirmed the original id.  Pacific Golden Plover is a great personal find as this is only the 7th Cornwall record. Five of the records have been recorded in the summer months and are wandering non-breeders.

Pacific Golden Plover is a difficult species to identify, though improved knowledge and better photographic equipment makes id easier now. All seven Cornwall records have been tricky to confirm; indeed three were reviewed and latterly confirmed as this species.

The species breeds across the Siberian tundra to west Alaska. It migrates to the Indian subcontinent and as far south as New Zealand and Australia.

All records:

2022: Stithians Res, an adult in breeding plumage, 15th-16th June.

2018: St Gothians, an adult in breeding plumage 29th June to 1st July.

2011: Hayle Est. an adult from 19th-20th July.

1999: Culdrose, an adult commuting between the airfield and ploughed fields adjacent to the main road, 19th-29th October.

1998: Bosanketh, St Buryan, close scrutiny revealed it to be Pacific, 3rd-4th May.

1994: Hayle Est. an adult moulting from summer plumage, 26th Aug.

1978: Stithians Res. juv originally accepted as an American Golden Plover and reviewed, 7th Nov.

Pacific Golden Plover, Stithians Res, June 2022 (pic S Rogers).

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