Golden Plover – Feadóg bhuí
Golden Plover’s are Summer visitors from France & Iberia (though possibly some remain year-round in Ireland) & winter visitor from Iceland. Most in Ireland between October & February. Smaller than the Grey Plover, with narrower, more pointed wings. Golden brown upperparts, which look grey at close range.
Males in summer have more black below than females – extends from throat, towards each eye, and ventrally under neck, chest and belly. In winter, males and females similar in appearence, with no black underparts. Flat whistle ‘puu’ in flight or when alarmed. Rythmic song ‘pu-pee-oo’ repeated in display flight, often followed by a repeated ‘perpurrlya’ when alighting, or when on the ground.
They Feed on a variety of soil and surface-living invertebrates, principally beetles and earthworms, but also on plant material such as berries, seeds and grasses. They regularly feed in association with Lapwing & Black-headed Gulls. Breed in heather moors, blanket bogs & acidic grasslands.
Distribution limited to the uplands of northwest counties in Ireland. Throughout the winter, Golden Plovers are regularly found in large, densely-packed flocks, and in a variety of habitats, both coastal and inland. Their distribution is widespread in Ireland.