Friday, 30 September 2011

How many more Semi-p P's?

We all appreciate that these cryptic little things are under-recorded... with over 200 seen in the Azores, they're obviously getting to Britain and Ireland more frequently. With the recent bird at Ventry, Kerry, and a report of a possible in Gloucestershire (that doesn't appear to be one IMHO, despite its diminutive size) it's fair to say this species is 'dish of the season'. What's more, Birdwatch magazine whacked an article on Semi-P P identification in their latest issue.
Semi-P Plover Terceira May 2011 - typically, in all plumages, the dark lores are confined to where it meets the upper mandible. A nice meagre looking bill too.
Semi-P Plover Terceira May 2011 - and obvious, but less prominent wingbar than Ringed Plover. Look at that lovely round face and eye ring; semi-p's are real cuties!
All I can say is please, please don't let this article  provide us with the 'DCC syndrome' of a few winters ago all over again. What I mean is that the same magazine released an article on the identification of Double-crested Cormorant and then, hey presto - we were in for a winter of discontent... Alton Water, Prescot Reservoir and Chew Valley Lake.
Semi-P Plover Terceira, Sept 2009 - obvious yellow eye-ring with a short supercilium behind the eye.
 I'm no expert on the species, but I have found a couple on the Azores over the years and, when you've only got a few Ringed Plovers to search through and the odds are stacked on your side to find one, they're not all that tricky believe it or not - the call is diagnostic, but you can do them before that. Let's just get it right this year with Semi-p P's - the punks have started it off meticulously and nicely. Don't be the one to f*ck up all the good work.  You've been warned!
Semi-P Plover Terceira, Nov 2008 - this bird is just like the Dawlish bird was. A real retard (in terms of moult).
Semi-p Plover Terceira Nov 2008 - a real cute looking thing but look at the extensively orange base to the bill and the narrow breast band meets - Ringed Plovers show more of a 'dabbed oval' at the breast sides.

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