Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

American Golden Plover - Cuckmere Haven 11/6/13

I was very fortunate enough to have found this brilliant looking AGP. First found at 11.45am on the scrape, my initial impression was American, though knowing the somewhat difficulty identification issues related to this family, I played a very cautious game. It took flight several times and showed very well in the grotty weather, however I had no camera with me. After several phone calls, driving rain and dodgy photos through my phone and bins, the id. was still not certain.

John and Doreen Cooper, soon followed by Bob Self arrived on site, and with decent views and clinching photos of the underwing, the id. was clinched. Maybe to some a delayed pager message, to me it was best being cautious, but thankfully many got to see this county mega. Throughout the evening it showed well, and with good weather several plumage features were added to the notes which are detailed below.

The last twitchable AGP in Sussex was back in 1988 and the last was in 2010, both in West Sussex. This is the 3rd record for Sussex.

the long legs are shown here along with the rather small rounded head
and short bill. Also a rather thin looking appearance.
the dark centred mantle feathers are easily contrasted against
the pale edged juvenile tertials and coverts. On close inspection
the coverts and tertials were very worn, indicative of a 1st summer.
the long primary projection, roughly 2-3cm past the tail tip. European GP would show
1cm projection and Pacific GP would project no more than the tail tip.
Close inspection reveals 4 visible primary tips past the tertial tip,
ruling out PGP.
the thick white line behind the ear coverts very noticeable, but only
on this side.
this image portrays the slight foot projection, ruling out European GP, but
also too short for Pacific GP. The wings also appear
long and thin.
the grey underwing with no obvious white rules out European
American Golden Plover in Cuckmere

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