Little Ringed Plover Found at Vermont Salt Pan
Just a couple of weeks ago, the sub-region’s second ever Little Ringed Plover was discovered at Tankatara in the Eastern Cape. The discovery saw twitchers across the country booking plane tickets and fueling up their vehicles. A number of dedicated birders managed to connect with the bird, before it disappeared from the area a few days later.
Monday this week, what is likely the same individual bird, was picked up about 700 kilometers to the south west, at the Vermont Salt Pan near Hermanus. For those who weren’t able to get to the Tankatara bird, this news was fantastic. And even those who made the trip to the Eastern Cape, were able to add an additional bird to their Western Cape lists with the birds new dwelling. The bird was photographed on the Monday morning and by lunch time a number of birders were on site.
By 1pm, things were not looking great, the bird hadn’t yet been relocated since the initial sighting, despite a number of birders with scopes in tow. Then at about 1:45pm the bird was picked up, moving between the rocks, adjacent to the shore.
A number of birders who had given up and were headed home, quickly returned to the scene and managed to connect with the bird. The Little Ringed Plover continued to show off well to birders on Tuesday the 12th of September as well.
However, at lunch time Wednesday 13th, the bird had not yet been located. Whether it has moved on to the next feeding area, or whether it is hunkered down between the rocks that hid it so well on Monday, is yet to be seen.
If the bird has indeed moved on from Vermont, its next location could prove interesting. As it would be moving itself closer to Cape Town.
The Same Bird?
The question of whether or not this bird is the same individual that was at Tankatara is an important one, as it distinguishes whether this is the second or third record for the subregion. Analysis of the plumage of the bird, from images taken at Vermont and Tankatara seem to suggest that it is the same bird — the most likely scenario.