jueves, 26 de mayo de 2016

American Golden Plover

 American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)

I don't usually expect waders on La Palma at this time of year, let alone rare ones, so imagine my surprise yesterday evening when I discovered this American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) at an irrigation pond in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane). The last time I observed this species on the island was Sept-Nov 2010, when no less than three individuals turned up at various locations.

The first photo above was taken in less than ideal light conditions on May 25. The bird's  long primary projection can be appreciated, with at least 4 of the primary tips beyond the tertials. Also its slim, elongated build, and prominent supercillium are diagnostic.

The remaining images were all captured this morning, May 26, at the same pond:

To further support the case for dominica, note the buff-grey axillaries above.

 American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) with another denizen of the pond.

 American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)

Clearly visible above, the wing tips extending well beyond the tail.

The American Golden Plover is a Nearctic shorebird which breeds in W. Alaska and N. Canada, and winters in S. America. There have been at least 23 records on the Canaries in recent years (La Palma, n=4, Tenerife n=13, Fuerteventura, n=3, Lanzarote, n=3), mostly in Sept-Nov. ["Rare Birds of the Canary Islands", E. García-del-Rey and F. J. García Vargas, Lynx Edicions, 2013].

The present sighting will be submitted to the Spanish Rarities Committee in due course.

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