Grey Plover


Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)




30 cm


The size, high forehead, short bill and long legs distinguishes the grey plover from other waders. The rump is white and the bill and legs black. In summer plumage the chin to the lower belly are totally black bordered by a broad white margin. The back and wings are spotted black and white. In winter they are a plain grey above with a speckled chest and belly.

Grey Plover Call

The call is a pleasant far-carrying ‘tlui-tlui’.

Grey Plover Migration

The grey plover is a summer migrant from the Palaearctic (Europe and Asia north of the Himalayas) to South Africa’s salt water marshes, tidal mud-flats and lagoons. They will remain at the warmer western coast during the winter.

Grey Plover Diet

The grey plover forage for small molluscs, crustaceans and insects on beaches and tidal flats.

Grey Plover Breeding

The grey plover does not breed in the south-western Cape.


The grey plover is seen singly or in flocks on tidal flats, secluded seashores and occasionally inland in South Africa.

Grey Plover Status

The grey plover is of least concern and a common summer visitor.

Where they are found

In South Africa the grey plover is found along the entire south-western Cape coastline.