On the morning of 28 October, I did visit Peniche to do my routine seabird count and checking a few spots for rare birds. When I was checking the fields around the sewage treatment pond, I noticed on the horizon a flock of around 200 Golden plovers, flying in circles above the fields that connect Peniche to Baleal. With time constraints I had to go home, but it stayed in my mind that I had to return and check that flock a little closer. And so I did, that afternoon.
The flock was very mobile and did fly around for some time before it settled in the middle of the open field, feeding very actively. I sat on the slope, and with my eye on the scope, I start checking every bird.
What a joy to see so many Golden plovers, different ages, and moult progressions. About 20min into the flock, there was an obvious juvenile American Golden plover! A bold white supercilium, greyish upperparts and greyish-brown underparts and more athletic. Was interesting to notice the feeding action compared to the European Golden-plovers, the bird did run a little more while feeding, making it easy to track among the busy flock. A few minutes later the bird took off and, with my zoom down to the 30x, I could appreciate the brownish underwing pattern contrasting with the European Golden plovers.
A few birds caught my attention, but I could never be sure of their Id and definitely, more work should be done with this flock.
Birding Portugal & Spain - Blog
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I was born in west Portugal and began birding at the age of 11. I have particular interest in bird ringing (banding), moult, seabirds and rarities. Currently I work as a guide for Birds & Nature Tours.
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