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About a dozen of these guys were hanging out on the beach together.
Thank you both for the ID help! Great identification info Liam, thanks for sharing!
Most definitely Black-bellied Plovers. American Golden Plovers are migrants, not wintering residents. The most reliable field marks to help distinguish the two species are the bellies and primary projection. American GP has long primaries and gray underparts where as the BB Plover has short primary projection and a white belly.
That's a tough call annorion. Ask Liam http://www.projectnoah.org/users/Liam; he seems to know so much about birds and identification. He's helped me a lot.
Thanks Ava! These guys have been giving me a tough time. I think the last I looked I was guessing Black-bellied Plover but still wasn't sure. I went through my pics again and uploaded 3 more with closer crops. Also I noticed one in the back that looked a little different, like it was still changing plumage. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to look at the new pics.
These might be American Golden-Plover in non-breeding plumage.
Spotted on Oct 8, 2011 Submitted on Oct 16, 2011