Pacific Golden Plover
Eastern Golden Plover, Lesser Golden Plover, Asiatic Golden Plover, Least Golden Plover.
Medium-sized golden-speckled Plover.
Crown and nape brown streaked with yellow. The supercilium, lores and ear coverts are golden. The rest of the upperparts are speckled golden-yellow caused by the brown feathers having a golden edge and notching. The underparts are generally cream with streaks and blotches of golden brown throughout. The vent is white. The short bill is black, with a slight bulge at the tip. The legs are also black.
Breeding: The upperparts are similar to the non-breeding plumage but has a greater brightness of the golden-yellow and the brown is black. The forehead, supercilium, the sides of the neck and breast are white, whilst the lores, chin, breast and belly are black, giving a strong contrast between the two. The flanks and vent are white with black blotches.
Juvenile: Similar to the adult non-breeding plumage but paler and greyer with heavy streaking and blotches.
The Pacific Golden Plover occurs mostly on the eastern coast of Australia, from the south-east of Queensland, through New South Wales and Victoria into Tasmania and South Australia. It occurs in small numbers in Western Australia and Northern Territory. It inhabits a variety of habitats such as the mudflats, estuaries, inlets, saltmarsh, pasture and beaches. Not found far from the coast usually.
The Pacific Golden Plover leaves our shores in March and through April. They return to our shores during August and September.
Breeds in the high Arctic from eastern Siberia right across to western Alaska.
Common in Australia with an estimated population of 9,000.
Grey Plover: Larger bird, but the mottled plumage might be confusing at a distance.