Golden Plover

Many of our waders spend their winters either by the sea or at some of our inland reservoirs, but during the spring and summer months they move to the mountain and moorland areas to breed.  Many of these species including the Golden Plover camouflage well with the surroundings and can often be quite hard to see.

The British summer population is to be found in the moorland and high mountain areas from the Peak District right up to Shetland. It is between 40,000 and 60,000 breeding pairs.  There are a few in Mid Wales and on Dartmoor.
The winter population is much bigger and is around 400,000 birds and can be found further south around the coast on any suitable muddy habitat along with the shores of inland lakes and reservoirs where they can be found looking for food.


My images are from a variety of British areas including the Scottish Islands of: Uist and Shetland.  I have also seen them on many of the high mountains of Scotland.


Golden Plover are easy to recognise in their summer plumage as they walk around the moors and mountains.  In winter they look a lot more drab and can look very similar to many other waders as they search for food on the many inland waterways and reservoirs.

But as everyone knows, the weather can change very suddenly and both sleet and snow can sometimes fall at any time of the year. A few years ago, I was lucky to see a Golden Plover in full summer plumage during a brief spell of some very wintry weather in Iceland.