Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-41(R83)a
1983 sighting resubmitted in October 2005
Information for this record is taken from a UFO sight record prepared 1 Sep 1983.

Common name:

Mountain Plover

Scientific name: Eupoda montana (Charadrius montanus) in one filed guide
Date: Aug. 31, '83
Time: 6:45 P.M.
Length of time observed: 15 min.
Number: 1
Age: Unk.
Sex: Unk.  Winter Light Phase
Location: Lake Shore - south side of Provo Bay portion of Ut. Lake
County: [Utah]
Distance to bird: 50 - 60 yards
Optical equipment: Tasco 7x50 binocs, Bushnell 9x36 binocs, B&L spotting scope 25x
Weather: Mostly clear warm (70's) est. [Prior weather] Mostly clear - some afternoon turbulence.  Five - six days since any major disturbance.
Light Conditions: Very Good - sun low in west
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Size - 7 1/2" - 8"   there were Killdeer close by to compare with * this species was just slightly smaller & slightly slimmer.
Colors - Fairly nondescript, tannish brown back, wings & head.
   Stomach or belly white, buffy breast.
   Head- Indistinct white facial markings with faint white line over eye
   Throat - white.
   Legs - Pale, greenish-yellow legs
   Crown - a bit darker tan than back & wings
Beak - Short, darkish & not as thick at base as Am. Golden or Black-bellied Plovers.  It wasn't needle-like like a yellowlegs or a phalaropes bill.
Wings - Tannish.  No visible barring, mottling or stripe.  Did not cause it to fly.
     [Field marks which were not seen.  Why not?]
Thin, white wing-stripe
Black tail band with white border.
Bird didn't fly.  We didn't want to spook it; give others a chance to observe it.
Song or call & method of delivery: No sound emitted
Behavior: Was feeding alone in an area near edge of lake with Killdeer nearby, but no interaction was observed between them.  The Mt. Plover would run quickly a couple of feet, stop, look at ground & then quickly "catch" a food item from surface of dry or slightly wet ground.  It never went into the water.   When we attempted to move closer it would move quickly away & then would bob its head.  More accented bobbing motion than any other plover I have observed.  Tail & posterior part of body did not bob at all.
Habitat: Exposed mud flat with salt grass scattered & to a length of about 4-6 inches.  Other shorter species of grass also.  Wasn't really a mud flat, but portion of field exposed by receding waters of Ut. Lake.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Lacked any distinct breast bands, more yellowish legs than Killdeer.  Back was not mottled as in black-bellied or Golden Plovers.  Uniformly tan.

Dave & I watched this bird for apr. 15 min. in excellent light after conditions (see below [drawing of sun behind observers]), with sun almost to our backs & low in sky (late P.M.) coloration was drab (just like the rendition in Robbins, & even though a couple of good field marks were not observed, there isn't another plover it could have been.  It was too large for any peep (there were 100's of Westerns & 4-5 Baird's around with which to compare) & too small for yellowlegs.  Due to lack of mottling on back & slight smudge across breast we felt confident of I.D.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Plenty of experience with Killdeer & Spotted Sandpiper.  Wasn't either of these. 
Very minimal with winter-plummaged plovers such as Golden & Black-bellied. 
None with Mt. Plover - "lifer"
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later from memory
Observer: Merrill Webb
Observer's address: 1063 East 400 No., Orem, UT.  84057   [phone] 801-224-6113
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird: David Fischer, 177 Starcrest Dr. Orem.   224-3254
Date prepared: Sept. 1, 1983
Additional material:  
Additional comments: