Casual bike ride to TTP last Sunday afternoon turned into a very memorial birding experience for us.
My husband saw a picture of Common ringed plover posted along with some other shorebirds in TTP by another birder on Flicker on Sunday morning.
We casually decided to go for a bike ride in the late afternoon just to check out.
Shorebirds are hard to identify, especially since they change their plumage quite drastically over the course of breeding season. (Well at least for us, it is really hard to identify them. We are amateur shorebirders).
Cell 2 in TTP is a very famous spot for shorebirding so we headed there right away.
I spotted a few people at the edge of the water with big binoculars set up on a tripod.
This is always a good sign.👍
A lady who was just leaving there asked us “Are you here to see a celebrity bird?”
That is another good sign.👍👍
As soon as we got to the spot, the gentleman quickly showed us where the bird was and told the specific suite of characters that we should look for.
And here it is, a tiny cute Common ringed plover was running along the shore.
We were there for about an hour enjoying this rare bird, sandpipers and plovers.
As rain was set to come out, we left the park.
At night, we were going through the pictures and cross referencing with pictures posted by other birders on that day to confirm that this was actually a Common ringed plover.
My Ontario bird book didn’t have Common ringed plover. It was not even listed in the rare bird section.
The bird in our pictures looked very similar but I just wanted to have confirmation from someone who is more experienced with shorebirds.
So I have sent an email to Jean Iron. I have her signed shorebirds book and I thought she would be the perfect person to give us confirmation.
This is her reply.
Very nice photo of the Common Ringed Plover! Congratulations. It’s a new bird for the Ontario Checklist. It’s an adult, which is interesting because almost all the Semipalmated Plovers now are juveniles; the adults have migrated out of the province already. That’s why it stands out. In your photo you can see the key field marks: it has much broader facial markings and neck collar than Semipalmated Plover, especially the line that runs from the eye to the bill – it’s very wide and it reaches the bill at the gape. It has a bold white supercilium above the eye, much bigger than Semipalmated Plover. It only has tiny webbing between the middle and outer toes, and none between the middle and inner toe, whereas Semipalmated Plover has visible webbing between all the toes. Another field mark is the eye ring (orbital ring) – it doesn’t have a coloured one, whereas all SemiPlovers have a yellow eye ring.
I put a summary on my website:http://jeaniron.ca/Shorebirds/2016/ringedplto.htm
It’s a first for Ontario and you have it photographed and on your list! Common Ringed Plovers breed in the High Eastern Canadian Arctic but winter primarily in West Africa, so they don’t usually migrate this way. Neck bands and facial markings can vary with posture and light. A suite of characters should be used for identification. The call is diagnostic, though I didn’t hear it call.
I have quoted her email as she explains very well about the characteristics of this bird.
Apparently it is a first for Ontario!!!!
My excitement went so high after I heard this news.
We are so fortunate to enjoy this bird so close.
You never know what a casual afternoon bike ride can bring you.
This is the exciting part of birding.
Happy Shorebirding 🐤 🐤 🐤 🐤
日曜日にたまたま行ったTTPでCommon ringed ploverという、オンタリオでは超めずらしい鳥を見ることができました。
ちゃんとCommon ringed ploverだということで、今になって感激しております。（笑）