Many bird lovers are familiar with the Black-bellied Plover, a common shorebird during migration that you can find in a variety of locations, from coastal beaches to river mudflats and wet fields. At this time of the year some may have a very black belly while others have molted to the degree where they appear mostly gray. However, some of you may be lucky enough to see the golden version - but this is another species, the American Golden-Plover. This adult, molting as well, stayed at the Sikorsky airport in Stratford for a number of days.
It has a very striking pattern, doesn't it? Others have been seen at our own Coastal Center at Milford Point and Stratford Point. We are always happy to see one or even two of these birds, let alone the 99 (!) seen at one location in Riverside, New York in the last week. You would be lucky to see that many Black-bellied Plovers together, never mind their rare cousin. I am hoping to be able to tick another one off on this upcoming Saturday while I am conducting International Shorebird Surveys, or perhaps something even more elusive.
Photo © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission