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 Post subject: Plover: Caspian
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:23 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Queenswood, Pretoria
I was lucky to see this chap (which is a lifer for me) on the Letaba-Olifants tar road on 17 October.

It was standing on the gravel next to the road, and quickly flew of once another car approached. I would love to know whether it is seen often in Kruger.

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 Post subject: Re: Plover: Caspian
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
According to the Roberts VII:

At Lochinvar NP, Zambia, regularly tens of thousands in Oct and 30-35 000 in november. Common in north-central parts of s African range' uncommon elsewhere.

It also says:

In s Africa, mainly in Botswana, on northern perifery of Kalahari, with smaller numbers in Namibia, especially Etosha Pan, and w Zimbabwe; also Kgalagadi TFP, N Cape.
Uncommon in ne S Africa and Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, and E and W Cape. Range may have retracted away from arid south-west; described as 'widely spread' in S Africa in early 1900's, when large flocks near Swartkop R estuary , E Cape. Range and numbers have increased in Zimbabwe since late 1980's.

The little map shows very few sightings in SA, some at (more or less) Pafuri, some more around Letaba-Mopani.
So yes, that would be a brilliant sighting.

However... Look at the chest in this photo, it's white.
If I was to hazard a guess, I would say it's a Kittlitz's plover. Do you have more photos?

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 Post subject: Re: Plover: Caspian
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:23 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Queenswood, Pretoria
Hi DuQues,

Unfortunately I have no photos from the front, but the following characteristics lead me to believe that it was indeed a Caspian plover:

1. It was almost twice as big as a Kittlitz's plover (which I know very well), and had very long legs.
2. It lacked the buff collar of Kittlitz's (the collar and buff is uniform in colour).
3. Although difficult to see it definitely had a greyish-brown breast band, which I saw clearly in flight. (If one looks closely at the photo, there is a visible greyish area between the neck and belly.)
4. Just for good measure I send the photo through to Trevor Hardaker (renowned SA birder), and he confirmed the ID.


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 Post subject: Re: Plover: Caspian
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:03 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5380
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Took a Ferris Bueller day off to do some personal admin and managed to pop in to Kgomo-Kgomo to add this fellow to my life list. :D

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