Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? From our days living in Ubatuba we knew we had a good chance of catching up with Collared Plover on the beach at Ubatumirim at this time of year.
Having searched the beach from one end to the other we were beginning to think we had been unlucky.
Then we noticed a dog careering up and down the mud in the river mouth, we looked at it in our bins and saw that it was chasing a small group of plovers numbering 6 in total. Wherever they flew the dog followed, as they tried to settle the dog caught up with them, I guessed they would be Semipalmated Plovers as Collared Plover tend to be singletons and not seen in groups very often.
However, one bird peeled away and obligingly landed in front of Elis, albeit at some distance. It was a Collared Plover, it seems that when they are in escape-flight mode they join with other species presumably a safety in numbers response. When it landed it was very stressed and bobbed its head almost continuously.
The dog, having tired of chasing the other birds came along the opposite bank of the river outlet and it was quite apparent that the plover was deeply stressed by its presence as it hunkered down into a divot in the sand to hide. Once the dog had gone the bird looked a lot more relaxed and that was when the first photo in this blog was taken.
We later came across this different individual which was paler and less well marked, this was a juvenile moulting into adult plumage. The collar is almost complete and there are some black feathers coming through on the crown.
Further up the river we found the 4 semipalmated Plovers these two birds had been flying around with.
There was plenty of evidence of misuse of beaches on this day, cars on the beach, dogs not on leads and illegal collection of invertebrates for fishing bait.
Another photo of the impressive Southern Lapwing to finish off.
|Adult (probably male), Collared Plover.|
|Dog chasing waders with his little sidekick|
|Collared Plover having just landed looking very stressed.|
|Cowering Collared Plover|
|Juvenile - adult moult Collared Plover|
|Four Semipalmated Plovers|
|Car on the beach|
|Dogs not on leads.|
|Illegal bait collecting|