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Identification 

 
Rare Birds in Spain

Identification

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva at Llobregat Delta, Barcelona, 28-30.8.2002 

Text by Ricard Gutiérrez. 
Photos by Ferran López, Rafael Armada and Ricard Gutiérrez

Introduction
Description
Photos
Discussion

On 28.8.2002, again Ferran López was conducting the usual scan of the Filipines marsh, Llobregat Delta, Barcelona, with the pressure of 'finding something' before leaving for China the day after. 'You should find something before leaving or we'll do that for you' Joan Castelló, the reserves' ringer had told him. Prophetic words these were. That very morning, the 1st Pacific Golden Plover for the area and one of the few records for Spain was found at the 'magic marsh' where other prime-quality rarities for Spain had been found, notably the 1st Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Rough-legged Buzzard or Red-flanked Bluetail for the whole of Spain or a number of Pectoral Sandpipers (one juvenile on 30.8.2002 while the plover was still there!), Great Snipe, Desert Wheatear, Western Reef Heron or Citrine Wagtail amongst others. 

Very good digital pictures could be taken and the identification features were clearly established, especially since the observation of an American Golden Plover at Aiguamolls de l'Empordà NP in april 2001 gave a good background for further observations of birds of this genus. The bird was seen again on 29.8 (J.Castelló) and was videotaped on 30.8 (JC, R.Gutiérrez, Xavier Sempere, Néstor Urios)


Description

The bird was a wader of the plovers family. It appeared rather long-necked, long-legged and slimmer than Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria. Bare parts included dark eye, rather long and slim dark bill which is larger than the distance of bill base-eye (thus a fulva character); long legs which include tibia 2/3 of the tarsus length more or less. Plumage characteristics can be better observed in the below photographs.

All photos by © Ferran López (one to three) and Rafael Armada (four to six),thumbnail by Ricard Gutiérrez  28.8.2002, Maresma de les Filipines, Barcelona.

Photos


Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Presumed 1st summer. Note diagnostic features such as structure, leg length, pattern of flanks, bill length in relation to bill base to eye distance or upright stance (Photo © Ferran López).
Chorlito dorado del Pacífico Pluvialis fulva. Presunto primer verano. Nótense las características diagnósticas como la estructura, longitud de patas, patrón de flancos, longitud del pico en relación a la distancia entre la base del mismo y el ojo o la postura erguida (Foto © Ferran López).
Daurada petita del Pacífic Pluvialis fulva. Probable primer estiu. Noteu les característiques diagnòstiques com l'estructura, longitud de potes, patró de flancs, longitud del bec en relació a la distància entre la base del mateix i l'ull i la postura de l'ocell (Foto © Ferran López).


Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Presumed 1st summer. Note primary projection, not so long as in American Golden Plover P.dominica although this bird showed very worn primaries. Note the pattern of mantle coverts and slim shape (Photo © Ferran López).
Chorlito dorado del Pacífico Pluvialis fulva. Presunto primer verano. Notad la proyección primaria que no es tan larga como en el Chorlito dorado americano P.dominica aunque este ave presentaba primarias gastadas. Fijaos en el patrón de coberteras y en la silueta delgada.  (Foto © Ferran López).
Daurada petita del Pacífic Pluvialis fulva. Probable primer estiu. Noteu la projecció primària que no és tan llarga com en la Daurada Petita Americana P.dominica si bé aquest ocell tenia primàries molt gastades. Fixeu-vos també en el patró de les cobertores i la sil·lueta delgada de l'ocell  (Foto © Ferran López).

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Presumed 1st summer. Some tertials were new some seemed worn. Primaries were worn. Note differences in tones between cap, neck and mantle  (Photo © Ferran López).
Chorlito dorado del Pacífico Pluvialis fulva. Presunto primer verano. Algunas terciarias eran nuevas otras parecian gastadas. Notad las diferencias entre la cabeza, cuello y manto (Foto © Ferran López).
Daurada petita del Pacífic Pluvialis fulva. Probable primer estiu. Algunes terciàries eren noves i altres semblaven gastades. Noteu les diferències entre el cap, coll i mantell (Foto © Ferran López).

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Presumed 1st summer. The bill was larger than bill base-eye distance. Note the brown tones in coverts and primaries (Photo © Rafa Armada).
Chorlito dorado del Pacífico Pluvialis fulva. Presunto primer verano. El pico era más largo que la distancia entre base del pico y ojo. Notad los tonos marrones en coberteras y primarias (Foto © Rafa Armada).
Daurada petita del Pacífic Pluvialis fulva. Probable primer estiu. El bec era  més gran que la distància base del bec-ull. Noteu tons marrons gastats en zones de cobertores i primàries (Foto © Rafa Armada).

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva. Presumed 1st summer. Note white flank area (Photo © Rafa Armada).
Chorlito dorado del Pacífico Pluvialis fulva. Presunto primer verano.Notad la zona blanca de los flancos (Foto © Rafa Armada).
Daurada petita del Pacífic Pluvialis fulva. Probable primer estiu. Noteu la zona blanca dels flancs (Foto © Rafa Armada).

Left to right, Joan -Johnny- Castelló, one of the two original finders, Juanito Becarés, Xesco -Obi Wan- Macià, Ricard -Capt.Fantastic- Gutiérrez and Xavi -Jabalí- Larruy. Both Ferran -tirachinas- López and Rafa -thetwitcher- Armada do not appear in the photo. © Rafael Armada. De izquierda a derecha, d'esquerra a dreta, : J.Castelló, J.Becarés, X.Macià, R.Gutiérrez & X.Larruy la tarde del 28.8 durante la observación del ave. Faltan F.López y R.Armada, pero alguien tenía que hacer la foto!.

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Discussion

For a discussion of the identification of dominica and fulva see the treatment of the Aiguamolls' dominica of April 2001 here.



Thanks to Ferran López & Rafa Armada for the excellent photos!.Gracias a Ferran López & Rafa Armada por las excelentes fotos.Gràcies a Ferran López & Rafa Armada per les excel·lents fotos!..


 
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Pacific Golden Plover at Llobregat Delta, Barcelona, 28.8.2002 

F.López, R.Armada & R.Gutiérrez, 2002

Introduction
Description
Photos
Discussion
 

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30.8.2002