American Golden Plovers

To: <>
Subject: American Golden Plovers
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 09:45:33 +1000
Please excuse the keyboard which is not working.There is only one accepted
record of american Golden Plover in AustraliA-a first winter bird present At
the West Belongil Sewage Farm, Byron Bay, November 1994. It was documented
and photographed by myself. Fortunately the bird was in a plumage which is
relatively most distinctive.

No other claimed AGP has made it through BARC. The biggest problem is lack
of detailed notes and photographs of the rear end structure of the birds
concerned. AGP differ from PGP in having typically four exposed primaries
relatively widely spaced exposed beyond the last tertial. The primary
projection is longer. On PGP two or three very closely spaced primaries very
shortly project beyond the last tertial. Structurally AGP is long winged,
long tailed. PGP is short winged and short tailed typically with feet
extending beyond the tail tip noticeably in flight. It is absolutely
critical to establish detail on primary and tertial moult, age category and
the exact details of the rear end structure of any suspected AGP.

PGP often become heavily worn and sun bleached in tropicAl Australia And can
look very grey like both Grey Plover and AGP. So Although this often the
first indicator you may hAve A suspect AGP it is not enough. All other
biometrics, face patterns, habitat preferences etc are only suggestive but
not diagnostic.

>From studying PGP in Australia for the past twenty years I cAn vouch for
whAt a genuine rarity AGP is in this country. I would suspect it is as
frequent as Lesser Yellowlegs, Buff-breasted Sand and that category of
vagrants. Every summer I see vArious grey PGP along the NSW coAst severAl of
which have been claimed As AGP. Close study reveAls them to be typicAl
PAcifics or birds whose identity cAnnot be estAblished becAuse of molt
problems.AGP is A relative rarity even in CAliforniA.

Interested observers should consult references like frontiers of bird
identificAtion pAper by ClAudiA Wilds, a field guide to the rare birds of
Britain And Europe, HaN
ZaB ETC. If you think you hAve found one let everybody know so multiple
observers cAn get detAiled notes And photos. Do not be AfrAid to mAke
mistAkes becAuse this is how you improve your birding. If  you reAlly find
one it will probably stand out very distinctly but try to document every
primary feather and tertiAl And evAluAte it in relation to the tail tip.

Good luck


Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • American Golden Plovers, Dion Hobcroft <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU