Plover, Lesser Sand


Name: Plover, Lesser Sand

Scientific name: Charadrius mongolus

Type: Lapwings and Plovers

Color: Brown,White

Habitat: Coast,Ocean,Water

Size: 20cm

Conservation status:



Very similar to Greater Sand in all plumages, behaviour and general outline, and isolated individuals can be impossible to distinguish. Best separated by: size (body only slightly larger than Ringed, Greater Sand distinctly larger); shorter bill, less pointed, more swollen at tip (but overlap with Greater Sand occurs in western birds); head looks smaller, more rounded, less angular; legs are proportionally shorter, darker, more greyish, not yellowish green, stance in relaxed birds often more upright than in Greater Sand. Breeding male has all-black forehead and face-mask, and has broad reddish chestnut breast band (Greater Sand never shows completely black forehead, and breast band is usually narrower); female has black of head reduced (like Greater Sand). Non-breeding and immature plumage is very like Greater Sand. Separated from ‘ringed’ plovers by lack of white hindneck collar, and from Caspian by shorter legs and wings, bolder white wing-bar, white underwing, and less bold supercilium. In flight, legs reach to or slightly beyond tip of tail (in Greater Sand legs show fairly prominently beyond), and both Sand Plovers show clear, but variable, white wing-bar: in Greater Sand often most prominent on inner primaries, of more even width in Lesser Sand.