23 September 2011

American Golden Plover,... in Gwent!

Headed to West Usk for a bit more shutterbuggery of the phalarope, a look for the Pec and a shufti of the wader roost. On arrival it was pretty obvious, pretty quickly, that the phalarope and Pec had done gone and the tide was producing nothing (not helped by the fact I'd thought high water was at 14:30, it actually rolled in at 16:15). And then something caught my eye on the water's edge,...

1. My first view of the plover this afternoon, hmmm, looks interesting,... 2. The point at which I phoned NC (knowing he'd be out and about somewhere) and suggested he'd be best off heading my way,... "Interesting pluvialis plover,... small-headed/billed,... capped appearance,... big ol' super,... looks quite long-legged". Whilst we were still on the phone the bird hopped across two small creeks in the mud, momentarily opening it's wings, I didn't see gleaming white, but were those axillaries dusky or in shadow? "Er! Yeah, I think you'd better get down here..."

Still hadn't nailed it when NC appeared, the bird having stayed pretty much head-on in the interval, refusing to reveal the relative positions of tertials, primaries and tail. It then got pushed further up by the rising tide before coming to rest behind a large clump of spartina. NC had grabbed an image which seemed to show an attenuated rear end and the black on the underparts extending towards the undertail. Stuck it out as a 'probable'. Now the dilemma, do we scoot right to, hopefully, get the profile view and risk flushing it? Or do we await the arrival of the County Recorder? Being the well behaved little birders we are...

... County Recorder arrives (finally!), so I scurried right, and within 30 yards I'm looking at the elegant profile of an AGP (left-hand image below) and the rest, as the cliche goes, is Gwent ornithological history.

The all important rear end structure; looking ridiculously long-legged/necked/arsed when spooked by three fisherfolk; and, on being flushed by the aforementioned fishymen, the duskiest of underwings, even when slightly over-exposed in bright, low-angled sunlight.

First for Gwent! Tut-tut Gwent birders of yore.

[NB. Re quality of images, distance and heat haze my dear reader, distance and heat haze.]

8 comments:

Peter Alfrey said...

More Pluvialis magic from the Plover Maestro

Darryl said...

:-))

Lee Dingain said...

Great find mate and nice shots!

Darryl said...

Cheers Lee, my favourite pic is number 1. Art!

Jaffa said...

Nailed like a true professional Mr Spittle. We wouldn't expect anything less form you. Perserverance pays off....
Nice definitive pics too.

Jaffa said...

Nailed like a true professional Mr Spittle. We would not expect anything less. Perserverance pays off.....Nice definitive shots too.

Jaffa said...

Nailed like a true professional! We would not expect anything less from you. Perserverance pays off....
Nice definitive shots too!

Darryl said...

Ta Jaff.

PS. Was that three attempts to spell 'perseverance' correctly? ;-))