Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Adult AGP

I found this adult American Golden Plover today on the machair commonage on the west side of Omey Island. A small flock of Eurasian Golden Plover spend their time between here and Omey Strand during the winter. I also had a single early Eurasian Golden Plover out on the strand earlier. They obviously hadn't encountered each other as they usually like to associate with each other. I've previously had a juvenile American Golden Plover on Omey Strand back in November 2008. Of all the "AGP's" that I've found in Galway this was the first one that wasn't in the middle of a flock of the Old World variety. Consequently I managed to get my first decent shots of the species as they are very difficult to approach once in a big golden plover flock. It was initially with a small mixed flock of Oystercatchers and Black-tailed Godwits but later did it's own thing. It was also rather vocal.

The tide was on the rise as I walked onto the island and by the time I made my way back to the van the tide had covered most of the strand. Thankfully the water was still very shallow and I was able to wade back across the strand. Only an hour after leaving the AGP I decided to give Aughrus Point a quick check for Lapland Buntings. There seems to be a large arrival of this species in the last two days or so along the west coast. There's a decent amount of windswept dry heath on the headland at Aughrus Point which they seem to be quite fond of. I was half expecting some out on Omey itself as well. Although there were no Lapland Buntings at Aughrus, I quickly came across the very same adult American Golden Plover! Aughrus Point and Omey Island are less than two kilometres apart so it wasn't a big surprise. Where will it end up next?

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