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Conservation status: Green

A medium-sized plover with a distinctive gold and black summer plumage. In winter the black in replaced by buff and white. They typically stand upright and run in short bursts. Very wary on the breeding grounds. In winter they form large flocks which fly in fairly tight formation with rapid, twinkling wingbeats.



Latin name

Pluvialis apricaria


Plovers and lapwings (Charadriidae)

Where to see them

In summer they inhabit upland moorlands in the S Uplands and Highlands of Scotland, the Western and Northern Isles, the Peak District, N Yorkshire, Wales and Devon. In winter they move to lowland fields, forming large flocks, often in the company of lapwings.

When to see them

They occupy their breeding grounds from May to September. Winter flocks start to appear and build up after the breeding season with largest numbers between November and February.

What they eat

Worms and beetles


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-38,000-59,000 pairs420,000 birds-



In the UK
Upland UK in summer; lowland UK in winter


Ruud van Beusekom, Xeno-canto

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