[mou] possible Pacific Golden-Plover
Kim R Eckert
eckertkr at gmail.com
Sat Sep 20 15:46:24 CDT 2008
Late this morning at the 40th Avenue West Erie Pier area in Duluth, a
calling golden-plover flew past me and especially attracted my
attention because its call did not match an American Golden-Plover.
Unfortunately, it continued to fly SW and out of sight, and I could
not relocate it; however, the Erie Pier area is pretty extensive with
parts of it hard to access, and it's possible the bird is still present.
I heard the call before I saw the bird, and my first impression was
that I was hearing the "chu wee" call of a Semipalmated Plover,
although it sounded more 3-syllabled: "chee uh wee" or "che we chee",
with the middle syllable lower in pitch. Then the bird flew into view
and past my position, and I could clearly see this was a golden-
plover, either a a juvenile or basic-plumaged adult: i.e., uniform
brownish in plumage with no sign of a white tail or black axillaries
(thus precluding Black-bellied Plover). The bird called at least 4
times during the 10 seconds or so it was in view, and the calls never
varied and were quite unlike the screechy 1- or 2-syllabled "ch-lee"
or "queedle" of the American Golden-Plover.
After taking notes on what I saw and heard, I returned home and
unsuccessfully searched the internet for recordings of the Pacific
Golden-Plover's flight call (all I could find were websites with
display calls on the breeding grounds). However, the verbal
descriptions I found in various references approximated what I heard,
including 2 references which compared this species' call to
At this time, based on my limited observation, I certainly cannot
claim that I saw and heard a Pacific Golden-Plover, but this sighting
is worth mentioning so other birders can be on the lookout for it, and
perhaps photos or sound recordings can be obtained if it is relocated.
Other Duluth sightings recently: Great Egret today at 40th Ave West;
Black-backed Woodpecker yesterday in my yard on the 1900 block of W
Kent Rd (it appeared in the same tree as last May's Am Three-toed
Woodpecker!); and 2 Am White Pelicans on Thursday at the S end of Park
Point near the Superior Entry.
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