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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Grey Plover

Hebrides bird sightings -  Grey Plover

Grey Plover

(Sea Plover, Silver Plover, Black-bellied Plover)

Pluvialis squatarola

Gaelic: Feadag ghlas


Photography © Terry Fountain
Stinky Bay - Benbecula - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
11th January, 2008


  • Grey Plover
  • Pluvialis squatarola
  • Gaelic: Feadag ghlas
  • UK: Passage/Winter Visitor
  • UK: AMBER LIST: 43,000 (Winter), Spring passage 70,000 BTO
  • WI: Fairly common passage (occurs in small numbers), and fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
  • Breeds: Nest shallow scrape - open areas. Arctic Islands & coasts: North Russia, Alaska, Canada
  • Winters: Coasts world-wide: Europe to Australia
  • Habitat: Coast bird: Estuaries muddy or sandy. Tundra (migration pasture)
  • Diet: Summer: insects. Winter: marine worms, crustaceans, molluscs (Stands upright. Runs & suddenly stops to feed)
  • Rump white. Short, heavy bill.( ID in flight from other plovers: inner flanks & feathers base of underwing black
    Summer adult:silver & black spotted above. Black breast & belly (also black face & neck which have white border).
    Winter adult: loses black feathers & goes browny-grey with grey-speckled breast & white belly. Winter flight shows black 'armpits'. Juvenile & first-winters similar to adult winter, but back feathers blacker with creamy white edges.
    Usually just a few birds.
  • Listen to a Grey Plover (RSPB site)
  • Similar birds: Golden Plover


In July the first of the migrant adults arrive in the UK. The younger birds follow in August and September. Young birds often stay on wintering grounds until their 2nd summer. Those leaving go in April and May.


Grey Plover records in the Western Isles

Fairly common passage (occurs in small numbers), and fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the bird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

























(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)


Other local bird photographs

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