Bird Watching (UK) - - October ID Challenge -

Our fi­nal flock is this group of 12 sim­i­lar-look­ing birds fly­ing over a grassy field with a horse in the back­ground. The pointed longish wings with white wing-bars and dan­gling legs on a few birds are strong hints that we are look­ing at a flock of waders (prob­a­bly com­ing in to land). That hav­ing been es­tab­lished, the next big clue comes from the short, straight, fine bills, which in wader terms im­plies th­ese are prob­a­bly plovers. The next big clue is in the colour of the up­per­parts, which are span­gled gold and black. Th­ese are one of the golden plover species. Luck­ily, a cou­ple of the birds are show­ing the white ax­il­lar­ies, or ‘armpits’, char­ac­ter­is­tic of (Euro­pean) Golden Plovers.

KEY FEA­TURES †Clas­sic plover-shaped birds (short bill, pointed wings) †White wing-bar †Golden-span­gled up­per­parts †White ax­il­lar­ies unique to Euro­pean Golden Plover

White un­der­wing Golden, span­gled plumage Short, fine ‘plover’ bill

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