The ringed plover is a smallish wading bird found throughout Britain and Ireland with 113 breeding pairs in Northumberland (Day, et al 1995) and around 25-50 pairs in County Durham (Bowey & Newsome 2012). This bird nests mainly at the coast, but can also nest inland near water. They are to be found in the mouth of the river Tyne, generally outside of April to July, with numbers peaking at up to 21 birds in any month (based on 2006-2011), but normally with half this number or less. They like to form small gatherings on the rocks, can walk quite rapidly and will pause after walking a short distance. The bird in the photograph is a female, she was found dead at Whitburn Steel (Tyne and Wear) by beach surveyor Peter Collins (December 2010) and had been caught, ringed and released on the south Durham coast in July 2008 (aged one year). Taxidermy was performed on the bird by Ralph Robson of Rothbury and funded by a grant from the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club; the specimen belongs to the Northeast England Beached Bird Surveys group. She was photographed in the Old Low Light while preparing for the exhibition ‘Tidelines’, a collaboration between artist Stephen Livingstone and myself, which ran from March to September 2015.
Bowey, K. & Newsome, M. 2012. The Birds of Durham. Durham Bird Club.
Day, J.C., Hodgson, M.S. & Rossiter, B.N. 1995. The Atlas of breeding birds in Northumbria. Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club.
Dean, T., Myatt, D., Cadwallender, M. & Cadwallender, T. 2015. Northumbria Bird Atlas 2007 – 2011. Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club
Photo accompanying Ringed Plover text: 23 March 2015 (Ref 8357).