<< Previous Next >>

Grey Plover

Grey Plover
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 800, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/16, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-02 4:11
Viewed: 3366
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Grey Plover in breeding plumage at Yyteri mudflats in the West coast of Finland.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), known as the Black-bellied Plover in North America, is a medium-sized plover breeding in arctic regions. It is a long-distance migrant, with a nearly world-wide coastal distribution when not breeding.

They are 2730 cm long with a wingspan of 7183 cm, and a weight of 190280 g (up to 345 g in preparation for migration). In spring and summer (late April or May to August), the adults are spotted black and white on the back and wings. The face and neck are black with a white border; they have a black breast and a white rump. The tail is white with black barring. The bill and legs are black. They moult to winter plumage in mid August to early September and retain this until April; this being a fairly plain grey above, with a grey-speckled breast and white belly. The juvenile and first-winter plumages, held by young birds from fledging until about one year old, are similar to the adult winter plumage but with the back feathers blacker with creamy white edging. In all plumages, the inner flanks and axillary feathers at the base of the underwing are black, a feature which readily distinguishes it from the other three Pluvialis species in flight. On the ground, it can also be told from the other Pluvialis species by its larger (2434 mm), heavier bill.

Their breeding habitat is Arctic islands and coastal areas across the northern coasts of Alaska, Canada, and Russia. They nest on the ground in a dry open tundra with good visibility; the nest is a shallow gravel scrape. Four eggs (sometimes only three) are laid in early June, with an incubation period of 2627 days; the chicks fledge when 3545 days old.

They migrate to winter in coastal areas nearly throughout the world. In the New World they winter from southwest British Columbia and Massachusetts south to Argentina and Chile, in the western Old World from Britain and southwestern Norway south throughout coastal Africa to South Africa, and in the eastern Old World, from southern Japan south throughout coastal southern Asia and Australia, with a few reaching New Zealand. It makes regular non-stop transcontinental flights over Asia, Europe, and North America, but is mostly a rare vagrant on the ground in the interior of continents, only landing occasionally if forced down by severe weather, or to feed on the coast-like shores of very large lakes such as the Great Lakes, where it is a common passage migrant.

Young birds do not breed until two years old; they typically remain on the wintering grounds until their second summer.

They forage for food on beaches and tidal flats, usually by sight. The food consists of small molluscs, polychaete worms, crustaceans, and insects. It is less gregarious than the other Pluvialis species, not forming dense feeding flocks, instead feeding widely dispersed over beaches, with birds well spaced apart. They will however form dense flocks on high tide roosts.

The Grey Plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Argus, jaycee, nglen, Jamesp has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-02 6:03]

Hi Pekka,
a nice in-flight shot of this Grey Plover. I still have lots of shots from the Elmley Marsh trip but I haven't got round to editing them yet... will do so soon!
Great composition showing this bird's mudflat environment.
Superb pose.

Well done,


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-02 6:53]

Well done Pekka!
An excellent in-flight of a Grey plover still in breeding plumage with great sharpnness and from a POV that shows all the features, especially the black under the wing.
TFS this superb image,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-02 9:58]

Hi Pekka,

A superb shot of this Grey Plover in flight. You captured him in a very nice position. Beautiful colors and a razor sharp details. The wing tips are amazing. Interesting to see him in this natural setting.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-02 11:35]

Hi Pekka. Firstly intersting notes to go with this good inflight shot of the Grey plover. our timing was spot on . and you still have good detail and natural colours. well done tFS.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-02 23:25]

Hi Pekka

Superb action shot with excellent detail. You never cease to amaze me with quality of these difficult shot which you seem to achieve with such ease!


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-03 1:25]

Hi Pekka,i like a lot this different way to show the birds,very difficult to have a perfect sharpness and details in situations like that! Your shot is at the top quality! Very great,my best compliments,have a nice day,Luciano

  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-03 2:37]

Hello Pekka, So far I could not take even a single shot of flying bird. I am still trying but your shot is superb and beautiful. Well done Ganesh Smiley tmrw

Calibration Check