To my mind the grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) is something of a forgotten bird. Ask a number of Dorset birders to name ten waders and I suspect very few would include grey plover in their list, I am not sure why. They are rather plain, drab birds in winter I suppose, no remarkable plumage and they are not that big and so not particularly impressive.
Grey plovers are not that common but they hardly set the pulse racing when you see one. A couple of hundred over winter in Poole Harbour and lesser numbers elsewhere in the county. During migration times the number go up a bit with passage migrants dropping in for lunch. As with many of our wintering waders here in Dorset, the grey plover nests in the Arctic and migrates south for the winter, some go as far south as Africa.
They also seem to be solitary birds, usually seen on the waters edge at low tide feeding alone rather than in the company of their fellows. Do they even look a bit sad or is it just me being sentimental?