Tuesday, 22 September 2015
I hadnt really bothered to take photos of it before duh stupid me so i decided while it was in front of me to take a few holiday snaps of it and to give it a grilling, so i brought my Collins Guide along with me, i dont have a copy yet of the Nobirds book "We are here to educate you, bird id guide" so had to make do with the Collins but i was to find it is riddled with mistakes as regards American Plover identification!
First mistake, the Nobirds AGP was same size and structure as the Europeans it was with (Collins says it is smaller) Ironically the juvenile American Golden Plover present was considerably smaller but that maybe is because its just out of an egg and hasnt finished its porridge, a growth spurt is imminent no doubt but im sure thats all in the Nobirds ID Guide ( i hear it will cost £10)
Even allowing for the missing body feathers it always appeared dumpy, large headed, long billed etc all the things a European should look like and not like the long slim appearance of typical Americans (at least according to the Collins Guide)
The bird was constantly calling but to my ears it was calling like a European, this was bizarre, perhaps it is a mimic or i had to consider that it could be a mute and the call i was hearing was from one of those cheeky Europeans "throwing" its voice in the direction of the Nobirds American.
Then it took off and i really have to go to Specsavers, its underwing and axhillaries were white! Checked the Collins guide it is wrong again! Then i had to consider this, Nobirds would have seen the underwing when they identified it as an American so it had to be grey. Perhaps on its diet of Myroe worms and stuff the underwing has turned white? Must be a factor. So what i was looking at was a bird that looked structurally like a European, sounded like a European, underwing was like European and whose plumage is an absolute mess but what you could see ie white around the head and flanks was typical European.
So i fu*ked the Collins Guide over the seawall as its next to useless and put Nobirds American into my book and headed home a happy man.
We know from past form Nobirds will not retract their sighting but here is the evidence, Nobirds AGP new to science and i would send these to Birding Frontiers, Dutch Biridng etc but i wouldnt want to steal the Nobirds thunder after all they are the guys