Pacific Golden Plover - Pluvialis fulva

On Friday 13 September 1991 around noon Jaco Walhout discovered a lesser golden plover Pluvialis dominica/fulva near Middelburg, Zeeland. He warned other birders and the bird could be observed till Sunday 15 September. Its identity was puzzling, since it missed its longest tertial, the amount of white on the breastsides was more indicative for American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica, but the amount and size of the golden spots no the back pointed more to Pacific Golden. However, only after heavy debate the bird was identified as a Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, five years after its discovery! Less than a week later, 18-29 September 1991, another Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva was found on Texel NH. This one was more easier and everyone who had seen the bird at Middelburg went to this one as well.
When publishing the record of the Middelburg record in the Rare Birds in the Netherlands in Dutch Birding, the author - Wim Wiegant - argumented this as follows: "After revision, the CDNA has decided to accept this record as P fulva, which may cast a dark light on the abilities of the CDNA to form an opinion on its own, but on the other hand may be taken as an indication of its willingness to open and re-open discussion on any record!"

14 September 1991, Middelburg Zld; © Hans Gebuis.
19 September 1991, De Petten, Den Hoorn, Texel NH; © Arnold Meijer.

This was the 11th record of Pacific Golden Plover for the Netherlands and the first field record. The other bird at Texel was the 12th (cf Dutch Birding 13: 229, 1991, Dutch Birding 16: 69-71 & 206-211, 1994, and Dutch Birding 19: 102, 1997)

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