Possible American Golden Plover at Boat Harbour, Sydney

Subject: Possible American Golden Plover at Boat Harbour, Sydney
From: Tun Pin Ong <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 20:29:52 -0800 (PST)
Dear Birding-ausers,

I am taking the risk of triggering a false alarm for reporting a possible 
American Golden Plover, but in a very worn condition.

If the case of this individual has been discussed somewhere earlier and 
conclusion has been made please let me know in first hand.

Below is my posting link on birdforum including photos which I asked for 
comments from other parts of the world who maybe familiar with the said bird.

Happy to send photos to private emails upon request. 

Kind regards,
Tun-Pin Ong
St Leonards, NSW

Dear fellow birders,
On 12 Jan 2009 I visited a coastal rocky platform near Sydney Australia, which 
is popular for wader watching during high tide.

There were about 15 Pacific Golden Plovers roosting there and among them one 
individual was significantly drabber looking. I initially tried to avoid 
looking at it as it was the least attractive of all.

While I was photographing one of the Pacific Golden Plovers, this dull colour 
plover came into my view and my first impression was that this bird has shorter 
neck, shorter leg (tibia) and much plainer throat, chest and nape.

Unfortunately this is a heavily worn bird and supposedly a juvenile. Its left 
outermost primaries are even lost and invisible. See my attached close up photo 
and by extrapolating both its left and right primaries albeit some missing 
ones, I can argue that this bird should have at least 5 exposed primaries at 
each side.

Other points which I think that suggest American Golden Plover are:-
1) Although primaries are badly worn and even missing, there should be at least 
5 exposed Primaries. (See my explaination in close up tail photo)
2) Shorter neck
3) Shorter upper leg (tibia) - consistant with all the PGPs beside
4) Overal very pale grey, yellow tint only on mantle and rump. White eyebrow.
5) Nape is very plain
6) Very plain throat and chest. No streaks. No traces of black or dark brown 
markings. Not even at sides of throat.

One juvenile American Golden Plover from Nova Scotia Canada posted on this 
forum looks very similar to the bird I say except the bird I saw is even worn 
(after long journey to Australia).

I also found some useful reference sites:

Consolidation of photos of AGP and PGP

Field Identification of forms of Lesser Golden Plover by Dunn, Morlan and Wilds.

I took many photos of this bird but seems to get its left side only. Also have 
typical Pacific Golden Plovers at its side for comparison.

Although I think most features suggest to American Golden Plover but there have 
been very very few official accepted record of American Golden Plover in 

Thank you in advance on your suggestions, whether supporting my claims or not.

Best regards,


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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