Moderately long legs
Large, dark eyes
Golden and black speckled back
Black from face to belly, bordered with white
Black speckling along the white border by the underparts and under tail
Buff wash with dark speckling on the breast
Light barring on chest and flanks
Yellowish head and breast
Listen to its call.
When I initially spotted this shorebird, I thought it was a Black-bellied Plover as they are fairly common around Victoria. It wasn't until I was reviewing my photos later that I realized my mistake. There are a number of differences between the two species, one of which I found a bit ironic. There is more black on the belly of the Pacific Golden-Plover then on the Black-bellied variety.
Learn more about the Pacific Golden-Plover.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.