Tundra Ringed Plovers

Late Spring in Northumberland often sees movements of Arctic-breeding waders making a rapid leap beyond the local birds that have already settled into the breeding cycle to areas far to the north that will have retained their snow until much later in the year. Ringed Plovers are one such wader and the birds moving through in late May are a different race tundrae. Smaller and darker plumaged they often appear in good numbers and with a little care are separable from local hiaticula birds.

23 May 2014 I found and photographed a small flock of Ringed Plovers at Lynemouth Flash, Northumberland. A number of the flock were identifiable as tundrae. Tundra Ringed Plvers moult into breeding plumage in Feb/March so consequently have less wear/fresher plumage in late Spring than the local breeders who are only a month or so away from primary moult.

Tundra Ringed Plover male
Tundra Ringed Plover, female (note difference in browner crown feathers, less distinct head pattern)