When to see
Ringed Plovers can be seen all year round. There is usually a group of 25-30 that over-winter and it may be the same birds that disperse and breed in the local area over the summer. The spring and late summer migrations result in large increases for short periods of time while they pass through,
Where to see
The flock over-wintering will often be seen on the sands in the central area of the bay moving into the Findhorn channel as the tide rises. Much of this area is difficult to see without going onto the bay and a scope is also useful. In the summer the birds breed on the shingle banks and in the east dunes area. For the short periods that larger groups move through then they are usually seen feeding over the central area of the bay frequently in company with Dunlin.
Although there are some subtle changes as the birds get their breeding plumage, for most of the year their plumage remains much the same. The birds that breed locally are the subspecies hiaticula and they are slightly larger with greyer plumage on the upperparts. Some of the Ringed Plover seen on migration can be arctic breeding birds from the subspecies tundrae with slightly darker upperparts.
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