BIRDS OF ICELAND Grey plover, Pluvialis squatarola

Pluvialis squatarola;  the Grey Plover is a close relative of the Golden Plover. On Iceland though, it is not common. It is a vagrant bird that accidentally arrives on Iceland. It is a European species breeding in the arctic regions of Europe and spends the winters along the sea-coasts of Europe (including the British Isles)from north-western Germany all the way to Greece, the north-African coasts and even further east. In winter they are much more confined to coastal mud-flats where Golden Plover's seek grasslands. During winter they can be found along the Icelandic coasts. They wear the winter-plumage. They move back to arctic Europe in spring when they acquire the breeding plumage. This is quite similar to the breeding plumage of the Golden Plover but their backs are grayish-silverly rather than the yellowish golden plumage of the Golden Plover. I took the presented photo at the west coast of the Reykjkanes peninsula near the lighthouse of Garður in early spring. It was quite surprising to see this bird at that time of the year still wearing the winter plumage.

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A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

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