Monday 17 September 2012

American Golden Plover

Rich, John and I were fortunate to stumble across this newly-arrived juvenile American Golden Plover on Keel golf course, Achill Island on Saturday 15th. It's a particularly fresh individual, with smart golden upperparts - definitely the brightest individual I've seen.

I think it rates as one of the best birds I've ever seen in Britain & Ireland. Sure, it's 'only' an AGP, but is there anything better in birding than sitting in some far-flung destination watching a transatlantic vagrant at a range of five metres with your mates?! It's the fourth American Goldie that I've been involved in the finding of, the last of which was on the very same golf course - in fact, we found the 2011 bird just 50 metres from this latest individual!


  1. Josh great stuff, didn't realise you guys had such an amazing 2011 and tbh hadn't even heard of Achill until RB mentioned it when i saw him recently. Lovely pics and such a bright bird...
    Would love to do similar trip though parental duties make it hard. Do you normally book in advance or wait for it to hot up? I had a couple of days birding in Kerry a fortnight ago, tagged onto end of family holiday. Managed a brace of 4 pecs & 2 BB sands at Carrahane which is only half hr from my Aunt's house.
    cheers, James H

  2. Hi James - yeah, 2011 was a pretty intense few days particularly when you take in to account we had a great day on Scilly the day previous and a juv Pallid at Tac on the way up to Mayo! Finding eight Semipalmated Sands was pretty ridiculous, although just shows what is possible on the west coast when you get a direct hit from a big system (the Hebs is hogging it all this year!).

    Sounds like you did alright at Carrahane! I remember you saying you had family out in the Kingdom - not a bad place to go for a family reunion! We found it hard work in Mayo, but heading back out again this weekend so hopefully might pick up one or two more bits. And yes, that AGP is by far the nicest I've seen - not only really bright but incredibly showy too...

    We tend to book in advance, although twitching conditions is pretty easy - those Stansted flights on a Friday evening (coming back Sunday evening) are a doddle, and you don't really need to take time off work. I did actually twitch that storm in January this year via the ferry, there's a write-up on what I saw/found on my blog from back then.