What is this Plover? Wader ID help

To: "'S Cooney'" <>,
Subject: What is this Plover? Wader ID help
From: "Wainwright, Paul (DEH)" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 12:01:53 +0930

One of the diagnostics which HANZAB mentions to help distinguish Lesser from
Greater Sand Plovers are the dimensions of the bill.

'The Greater has a bill which is distinctly longer than the distance between
the base of the bill and the rear edge of the eye'

'The Lesser has a bill which is slightly more swollen, tip appears blunter
and bill stubbier'.

In general. the Greater Sand Plover is slightly larger and taller, head
slightly larger and broader, rounded to more angular and flat crowned, with
less abruptly sloping forehead. Stance more horizontal and balanced, legs
longer, especially above knee.

My thinking tends to suggest Greater Sand Plover, also agree with
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Red-capped Plover.


-----Original Message-----
From: S Cooney 
Sent: Friday, 10 October 2003 11:34
To: ; 
Cc: ; 
Subject: What is this Plover? Wader ID help

Hi Chris,

No wader expert but I do have the excellent reference Shorebirds: An
identification guide by Hayman et al

I am quite sure that the Plovers are not Kentish but Red-capped.  They lack
a white nape (Hayman calls it a "hindneck collar") that a Kentish would have
and the black edges to the red-cap and chestnut over the entire head suggest
it is an adult male bird in your photos.

Your Sand Plover to me (not an expert) could be either (I still don't have
them properly sorted), but it seems to have a decent sized bill and fairly
pale legs, (can't speculate on size or shape much) so may be a Greater, I'll
look on to see what others think.

Finally, I'd have said Sharp-tailed Sandpiper rather than Wood.  It doesn't
look elegant enough or like it has a long enough neck for a WS, but that may
just be the photo.  Everything else for me works as a Sharpie.

OK well I did say I was no wader expert, but remain pretty confident about
the Red-capped Plover,



Stuart Cooney

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