Belongs to: winter waders

Compare with: grey plover

Golden plover Pluvialis apricaria

Birds of Conservation Concern Amber List


Best time to see: Oct to mid Mar

Key facts

Handsome medium-sized plover, black and gold in summer, gold and white in winter

Breeds on open moorland in Iceland and northern Britain

Winter visitor to Ireland and southern Britain, including Essex, gathering in flocks on farmland, especially on the coast

Recognition

Summer: gold-spangled upperparts, black from face to belly; winter: gold upperparts, white below; short bill; 28 cm

In winter gather in substantial flocks on arable fields or coastal grassland, often together with lapwings

Feeds in a slow manner, a few steps then picks up a worms or insect

Lifecycle

Nest is a scrape on ground

One brood of 4 buff eggs blotched black, April–June

  • Main photo
  • winter flock

Photo © Leslie Borg

Photo © Leslie Borg