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American Golden Plover (V)

American Golden Plover (V) (Image ID 42455)
Photographed byBarry Deacon on Sat 14th Mar, 2020 and uploaded on Sat 19th Sep, 2020 .
Resolution1400x998
Viewed136
ID42455
CommentWe observed this bird but were unsure of its ID. Feedback from Aus Twitchers site was towards an American Golden Plover and we were encouraged to make a submission to BARC. BARC confirmed this as the species on 15 Sept 2020. The case summary is as follows:

Memorandum to: RACC, BirdLife Australia

From: BirdLife Australia Rarities Committee (BARC)

Date: 15th September 2020

Voting Members: Mike Carter Nigel Jackett
Rohan Clarke Chris Brandis
Jeff Davies David James
Nikolas Haass Danny Rogers

Cc. David Stewart (Jnr)



Submission No 1138: American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica Lady Elliott Island, QLD. 14th - 15th March 2020 Submitted by Barry & Lesley Deacon


Verdict: Accepted


This submission relates to an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica first seen and photographed on a rocky shoal on Lady Elliott Island QLD on the 14th March 2020 and the following day on the island’s airstrip. The bird contrasted strongly with nearby Pacific Golden Plovers P. fulva, all of which were in some stage of moult into breeding plumage,

The submission relies on an excellent series of photographs and a copy of discussions regarding the identity that were transcribed from the Australian Twitchers Facebook page. The bird was very grey, particularly so when compared with the Pacific Golden Plovers. A bold pale supercilium, the tertial length compared to the tail (falling well short of the tail tip), primary extension beyond the longest tertial (at last three visible), short extent of exposed tibia and a comparatively fine bill all point towards American Golden Plover.

Seven members voted in favour of acceptance and were happy to rule out Pacific Golden Plover. Comments were also sought from experts overseas including Richard Chandler and Steve Howell both of which were confident that the bird was an American Golden Plover. The following features were considered to be the most notable when it comes to separating the very similar Pacific Golden Plover:

• A profoundly white supercilium, lacking any sign of yellow
• Plain uniform grey tones without any degree of yellow suffusion visible
• Four primary tips visible beyond the longest tertial
• Fresh primaries – ruling out a juvenile Pacific Golden Plover
• A short tibia and fine bill when compared with Grey Plover

Most agreed that the bird was likely an adult in basic plumage. The one dissenting member felt that the morphological features including the overall colour supported American Golden Plover, but the leg length and shape could equally fit Pacific Golden Plover.

This is the 4th confirmed record for Australia and the first for QLD. The first was a worn and faded juvenile seen and photographed at Byron Bay, NSW in November 1994 (BARC case no. 189) and a well photographed individual at the Dry Creek Saltfields, SA in November 2006 (BARC Case No. 529) and a bird at Boat Harbour NSW on the 6th January 2009 (BARC Case No. 766).
EquipmentNikon D500, Nikon 500 F5.6PF exposed at 1/1600th, f5.6, ISO 400
LocationLady Elliot Island, Queensland
Keywordsadult
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