Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

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Grey plovers are solitary birds that only gather in pairs during mating season. Breeding takes place in June and July in a nest insulated with grass dug into a shallow hollow, usually atop a hill. The birds typically return to their breeding grounds. The grey plover is similar in appearance to the golden plover, although their basic plumage is grey or silver-coloured, hence the English name “grey plover”. The underparts of the breeding plumage are plain black while the upperparts are black with white fringes. It migrates long distances between the Arctic tundra where its breeding grounds are located and its wintering grounds on the coasts of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, South American and Oceania. Its migratory routes can reach up to 8,650 km. On its migrations, it happily visits stopover sites in tidal flats, as well as mud flats, sandbars and wide beaches where it eats worms, types of crab, insects and snails. It will typically wash its prey before it eats it.

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