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American Golden-Plover @ Ballona Creek

It has now been confirmed that there is a first ever record for American Golden-Plover at Ballona Creek. Dan Cooper reported on October 20th that he thought he heard an American Golden-Plover call in a Black-bellied Plover flock but was never able to locate the bird. On October 21st, Darren Dowell reported a Pacific Golden-Plover in the same area.

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

I was not able to get out there to locate and document the bird until Saturday morning, but it is indeed an American Golden-Plover. To give you a little background on the species:

The American Golden-Plover has one of the longest known migratory routes of over 25,000 miles from the Patagonia of Southern Argentina all the way to the Arctic North Slope of Alaska. Of this, 2,400 miles is over open ocean where it cannot stop to feed or drink.

A comparison of dates and migratory patterns leads to the conclusion that Eskimo Curlews and American Golden Plovers were the most likely shore birds to have attracted the attention of Christopher Columbus to nearby America in early October 1492, after 65 days at sea out of sight of land.

Large numbers were shot in the late 19th century and the population has never fully recovered and is listed as threatened to endangered.

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover

 

Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Photography Adventures

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Pacific Golden-Plover @ Ballona Cr.

It’s been a while since a decent species has shown up at Ballona Creek. Yesterday, Martin Meyers found a Pacific Golden-Plover along Ballona Creek. While not a significant bird to the state or county, for that matter, it was a bird that once wintered in the Ballona Wetlands in decent numbers. But due to urbanization and habitat loss there has only been 1 or 2 records in the past 20 years.

Pacific Golden-Plover
Pacific Golden-Plover

I’ve photographed Pacific Golden-Plovers in Hawaii before but this gave me a good opportunity to photograph one in relatively good lighting and really close to home! There were also many Dunlin in the area but I didn’t have much time to photograph anything but the Pacific Golden-Plover before the parking meter was going to expire. I’ll have to get back out there this weekend.

 

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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