The non-breeding distribution of Icelandic Common Ringed Plovers


97 – 101

1 August 12

Bodvar Thorisson, Vigfús Eyjólfsson, Arnthor Gardarsson, Hulda Birna Alertsdóttir, Tómas Grétar Gunnarson

Bodvar Thorisson
Westfjords Natural History Institute, Aðalstræti 21, 415 Bolungarvík, Iceland.


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The Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula has a widespread breeding distribution at temperate and high latitudes in Europe and NE Canada. Three subspecies have been identified: C. h. psammodroma has a breeding range from the Faeroes to NE Canada, C. h. hiaticula breeds in Britain, S Scandinavia, Northern and Eastern Europe and C. h. tundrae breeds from N Scandinavia to Russia. These populations have a wintering range from Britain to S Africa and SW Asia, where psammodroma and tundrae leap-frog most of the hiaticula race by breeding further north and wintering further south. Even though the non-breeding distribution of the Ringed Plover is quite well known, knowledge of movements of the subspecies from breeding grounds to wintering sites is sparse. The Icelandic population (psammodroma) has been thought to winter in S Europe and NW Africa but only one winter ringing recovery has been reported, in S Spain. Here we present data on 104 recoveries of Icelandic Ringed Plovers outside Iceland, 86 of colour-ringed birds and 18 of metal-ringed birds. Most recoveries in autumn and spring were from Britain, Ireland and France. In winter most recoveries were from S Europe and NW Africa. Icelandic Ringed Plovers leap-frog the British population and probably a part of the S Scandinavia population.