Now I'm wondering.....do I have the ID right on this bird or is it a Black-bellied Plover? I was just wasting some time looking at Mike Yip's website 'Vancouver Island Birds' and he had photos of a Black-bellied Plover that look remarkably like this one. I had gone with the Golden as it seemed to have a longer neck than the Black-bellied shows, but I stand to be corrected. In either case it was unusual to see one (which ever it is) at Tunkwa. Kathy
I think the neck length on these species can vary depending on posture, and Ive found that using those kind of field marks requires a longer study which is often most helpful if other species are near by to compare to.
The reasons I think this is a black-bellied plover is the wing's primary feathers do not extend past the tail, the bill is heavy looking, the breast and sides are streaked (not barred/spotted) and there is not much of a 'cap' on its head.
Golden-plovers Im familiar with (and not very) have a good contrast between the head and the line over the eye usually. The golden colour is a clue and always eye-catching, but Ive seen black-bellied plovers juveniles (I would say this is a juvenile bird btw) that have a golden wash as well. The wing's primaries extend past the tail in golden plovers.
Watch on this species if they fly for you if it has black under the wings at the base of the wings. If it doesnt, then you've got 1/4 of the ID challenge out of the way as now determining between American and Pacific golden plover can be very challenging.
I think that's a pretty good species for the Interior (as you noted too) seeing as though it sounds like the first time you've seen them there.
Nice picture in the first one! How close did it let you get before it got even more alarmed!
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)