Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
Adult Winter

The Golden Plover in winter has a white underside, pale yellow breast, buff-yellow spotted back and a pale stripe above the eye.

Golden Plover 

Pluvialis apricaria
Waders Menu
A beautiful bird in summer the Golden Plover is similar to the Grey Plover, however as the names suggest the Grey Plover has a grey back and the Golden has a yellow spotted back. The Grey Plover breeds in the extreme North of the hemisphere so birds seen on moorland in Europe during the summer are likely to be Golden Plover. During the winter in coastal locations the 2 species often flock together or feed in the same areas.
Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Charadriidae

Genus:  Pluvialis

Species: P. apricaria
Golden plover in winter plumage
Thanks to: (Modified)
Note the white underside and yellow spotted back and wings, the eye stripe on this bird is not very defined.
Adult Summer
Golden Plover winter plumage
*Pale yellow on breast
Pale eye stripe
White underside
Golden Plover flying underside
Flock of Golden Plover
Golden Plover in winter plumage
Thanks to: (Modified)
Note the eye stripes which are clearly visible in this image.
Golden Plover summer plumage
Yellow, white and black speckled back and wings
White along sides of black underside
The Golden Plover in summer has a jet black underside and a rich yellow and black back. Various sub species have different amounts of black on the underside.
Black on face
Adult Golden Plover summer plumage
Thanks to: (Modified)
Golden Plover in summer plumage flying
Breeding distribution
Probably breeding
Probably breeding
Confirmed to be breeding in this area
Confirmed breeding sites
Breeding distribution of Golden Plover
General distribution:
Breeds in the very North of Europe mostly seen as a passage migrant in the rest of Europe. In the UK it breeds in the North of Scotland and locally in parts of England with Dartmoor in Devon being it's Southern limit.
Breeds on moorland, usually above 500m and free from human disturbance. In winter the Golden plover can form huge flocks on estuaries and farmland, usually near the coast.
*Key ID points
Thanks to: (Modified)
Golden Plover flying from back
Golden Plover flying from top
*Dark back with buff-yellow spots
*Short bill