My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Back to Batavia for an American Golden Plover

Published August 29, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, American Golden-Plover, Killdeer, Red-necked Phalarope

American Golden-Plovers were found in Batavia the other day - the same day that I saw my first Baird's Sandpipers and Red-necked Phalaropes at the Batavia Waste Water Treatment Plant (BWWTP). I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see one of these beautiful birds, so I restructured my work day and took a drive back to Batavia this afternoon. On my way, I stopped by the treatment plant to see if the Red-necked Phalaropes were still there.  To my delight, they were - but I only saw two this time.  I hope the third is OK!

At the BWWTP, I met a young, veteran birder who teaches ornithology. Eli was also looking for the same two birds as I was. The Red-necked Phalaropes were much closer to the edge of the berm today and we both got some outstanding views. After enjoying our close encounters, Eli and I joined forces and headed out to seek the American Golden-Plovers, what would end up being life birds for both of us.

We first found our first golden on a sod farm out amongst a couple of Killdeer - and just far enough beyond a knoll that made our looks intermittent and difficult at best.  We moved on from there and were lucky to find another sod farm further out from Batavia where we found 8 of them. This farm provided much better looks for us.

What beautiful and unique looking birds! They were still decked out with much of their breeding plumage and we could easily see the gold mixed in with the black and white pattern on their backs. The bold white stripe that runs from their black forehead, over their eyes, and down to their throat made them rather spectacular looking!

I read that this plover makes one of the longest migrations of  any North American bird, flying up to 20,000 miles in a year.  They even make a non-stop flight over the Atlantic that extends from 3,000 - 3,500 miles! It's thought that they can store seeds in their digestive tract to help fuel their bodies for these long flights.

The American Golden-Plover is also a real speedster and is considered to be the faster flying shorebird, with speeds up to 60 miles per hour!  Wow!
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Red-necked Phalarope
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Red-necked Phalarope
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Red-necked Phalarope
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Red-necked Phalarope
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American Golden-Plovers
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American Golden-Plovers
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American Golden-Plovers
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American Golden-Plover - I believe this is a female