Sunday, July 25, 2010
Stockton Sand Spit
Two Pacific Golden Plovers have remained at the Stockton Sand-spit for the winter. Usually the birds arrive in September and head off for the Alaskan Breeding Grounds in April. The bird in dark breeding colours had an injured leg, and the other appeared to be a juvenile.
In Australia Pacific Golden Plovers usually occur on beaches, mudflats and sandflats in sheltered areas including harbours, estuaries and lagoons. Important sites for the species within Australia are Broome, Moreton Bay, Shallow Inlet Marine Park, the Coroong, and the Hunter River Estuary.
They have one of the longest migration routes of any bird, along the East Asia-Australasian Flyway, and much of it is over open ocean with no opportunity for food or rest. It no longer seems surprising that these two stayed put.
BTW The collective noun for a group of plovers is a ‘deceit’.