Lores like a Semi-p …

In the early part of the week Bob Bullock was photographing waders at Clifford Hill Gravel Pits when he came across this juvenile Ringed Plover with a rather Semipalmated Plover-like face pattern feeding with other Ringed Plovers and Dunlin on the north shore of the main barrage lake.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Clifford Hill GP, 16th September 2013 (Bob Bullock)

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Clifford Hill GP, 16th September 2013 (Bob Bullock). Click image for larger version.

Enough to arouse interest as close examination reveals a) the dark band on the lores narrowing considerably where it joins the base of the bill and b) the join is clearly above the gape-line, the latter protruding into the white part of the lores. This loral arrangement is supposedly a key identification feature of Semipalmated Plover – Ringed Plover’s loral band normally broadens and joins the bill base at the gape line, which is clearly not the case with this individual.

However, other Semi-p supporting features are entirely absent: no trace of a narrow yellow eye-ring, lack of stubby bill, and the dark subterminal fringes on the coverts are too broad (many of the whitish terminal fringes have already worn/are wearing off).

Furthermore, closer inspection would reveal a lack of palmations between the middle and inner toes, as can be seen in the image below. Both Ringed and Semipalmated Plovers have palmations between the middle and outer toes but only Semi-p has them between all toes.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Clifford Hill GP 16th September 2013 (Bob Bullock)

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Clifford Hill GP 16th September 2013 (Bob Bullock). Click image for larger version.

The excellent, detailed, close up images from Bob enable this level of scrutiny!

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