Friday 22 August 2014

Common Ringed Plover - same bird, new photos!

Went back to Bellevue Beach this afternoon with Sir Ed & visiting birder Brett Fried to do some shorebirding. Didn't think we would see the Common Ringed Plover as others weren't able to relocate it earlier in the week - but there it was. This time we got better looks, and improved photos to help seal the case. And it was a lifer for Ed & Brett!

These first 3 photos were taken by Brett - big thank you for sharing them and letting me post them here!

Most important photo of the day is this one:
Note the lack of webbing between the outer and middle toe of the birds right foot (left side of image). This is pretty much the definite character to distinguish between Semipalmated and Common Ringed Plover.
Adult male Common Ringed Plovers in breeding plumage do have a yellow/orange ring around the eye - so that isn't entirely unique to Semis.
And the definition of "semipalmated" has something to do with the fact that there's webbing between the toes - Semipalmated Sandpiper also has webbing between the toes!

 Improved photos of the head confirm that the lores do meet the gape of the bill, and that there is no eye ring (adult male CRPLs shouldn't have an eye ring at this time of year - a hormonal thing maybe?)
Shape of the head is also different between these two plover species. Common Ringed Plover has a more steeped forehead.
Also note that relatively long bill! A subtle feature...
And that supercilium (eyebrow) - prominent, and extends well behind the eye.

Although out of focus the white wing bars are noticeably more prominent versus a Semipalmated Plover:


Before the Common Ringed Plover excitement I scored my 200th self-found species for Newfoundland: a hatch year Canada Warbler. Only 100 more to go to reach my goal :p

Also took my first ever photos of a Boreal Chickadee!

A young Wilson's Warbler:

Plenty of Blackpoll Warblers around:

Truth is that it took us well over an hour to find the Common Ringed Plover. After searching for it for the fist 45 minutes I gave up and began photographing White-rumped Sandpipers and juvenile Semipalmated Plovers:

Trying to take as many photos as I can of juvenile Semipalmated Plovers. Almost thought this one was going to be another Common Ringed Plover because it has no eye ring. But it is a SEPL...
Juvenile Common Ringed Plovers are much more difficult to distinguish from Semipalmated Plovers. This is reflected by the fact that only 3 of the 13 CRPL records in Newfoundland are juveniles!

 Almost 20 juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers were at Bellevue today:

My own photo of the star bird of the day: