Greater sand plover

The greater sand plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) is a small wader in the plover family of birds. The spelling is commonly given as "greater sandplover" or "greater sand-plover", but the official British Ornithologists' Union spelling is "Greater Sand Plover".[2] The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in ravines and river valleys (kharadra, "ravine"). The specific leschenaultii commemorates the French botanist Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour.[3]

Greater sand plover
Greater Sand Plover
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius
C. leschenaultii
Binomial name
Charadrius leschenaultii
(Lesson, 1826)


Greater Sand Plover at Kutch 2
Greater Sand Plover at Kutch
Greater Sand Plover at Kutch
Greater Sand Plover at Kutch

It breeds in the semi-deserts of Turkey and eastwards through Central Asia. It nests in a bare ground scrape. This species is strongly migratory, wintering on sandy beaches in East Africa, South Asia and Australasia. It is a rare vagrant in western Europe, where it has been recorded as far west as Iceland. It has been spotted twice in North America, the most recent being on May 14, 2009, in Jacksonville, Florida.[4]


There are three subspecies: The nominate, C. l. columbinus and C. l. scythicus. The last was known as C. l. crassirostris until it was established that this name is pre-occupied by a subspecies of Wilson's plover, C. w. crassirostris.[5]


This chunky plover is long-legged and thick-billed. Breeding males have grey backs and white underparts. The breast, forehead and nape are chestnut, and there is a black eye mask. The female is duller, and winter and juvenile birds lack the chestnut, apart from a hint of rufous on the head. Legs are greenish and the bill black.

In all plumages, it is very similar to lesser sand plover, Charadrius mongolus. Separating the species may be straightforward in mixed wintering flocks on an Indian beach, where the difference in size and structure is obvious; it is another thing altogether to identify a lone vagrant to western Europe, where both species are very rare. The problem is compounded in that the Middle Eastern race of the greater sand plover is the most similar to the lesser species.


Its food consists of insects, crustaceans and annelid worms, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups.

Its flight call is a soft trill.

The greater sand plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Wynnum Esplanade, SE Queensland, Australia
Charadrius leschenaultii MHNT
Egg - MHNT


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Charadrius leschenaultii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Charadrius leschenaultii". Avibase.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 99, 222. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ "From Asia by air, rare bird visits Huguenot". Times-Union, Florida. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  5. ^ Carlos, C. J., S. Roselaar, & J-F. Voisin (2012). A replacement name for Charadrius leschenaultii crassirostris (Severtzov, 1873), a subspecies of Greater Sand Plover. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 132(1): 63–65.

Further reading

  • Taylor, P.B. (1987) Field identification of Greater and Lesser Sandplovers, pp. 15–20 in International Bird Identification: Proceedings of the 4th International Identification Meeting, Eilat, 1st - 8th November 1986 International Birdwatching Centre Eilat

External links

Beatrice Islets

Beatrice Islets are pair of islets in the Australian state of South Australia located in Nepean Bay on the north coast of Kangaroo Island about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) east of Kingscote. The islets and adjoining intertidal areas are notable as habitat for bird life. The islet pair has enjoyed protected area status since 1909 and since at least 1972, have been part of the Beatrice Islet Conservation Park. During either the 1960s or the 1970s, the islets were extensively damaged by an exercise to remove an infestation of South African boxthorn.

Bird Islands Conservation Park

Bird Islands Conservation Park is a 3.69-square-kilometre (1.42 sq mi) protected area in eastern Spencer Gulf, South Australia. It is located at Warburto Point on Yorke Peninsula, about 10 km (6.2 mi) south of the town of Wallaroo. In 1991, land additions were made to the park to include the intertidal zone of both islands. In 1999, a larger, mainland section was added to support mangroves, samphire and coastal fringe vegetation.

Birds of Ashmore Reef

The Birds of Ashmore Reef comprise three main groups:

Seabirds, including at least five species of breeding terns, with several other seabirds, including petrels, recorded in the surrounding waters

Migratory shorebirds en route from northern Asia to Australia

Landbirds, only three breeding species (two herons and a rail) but several others, including passerines, visit, either on migration to northern Australia or as vagrants

Birds of Boigu, Saibai and Dauan Islands (Torres Strait)

The Birds of Boigu, Saibai and Dauan Islands (the Top Western group of Torres Strait), are of particular interest to Australian birders because the islands are home to, and visited by, birds which are essentially New Guinea species not found, or only occasionally seen as vagrants, elsewhere on Australian territory. The islands lie only a few kilometres from the mainland of New Guinea, though they are politically part of the state of Queensland, Australia.

Boigu and Saibai are low-lying alluvial islands of swampland and mangroves, subject to periodic flooding, while Dauan is a smaller but higher granite island. From an Australian birder's perspective, local bird specialities include grey-headed goshawk, Gurney's eagle, rufous-bellied kookaburra, collared imperial-pigeon, orange-bellied fruit-dove, Papuan needletail, red-capped flowerpecker, streak-headed mannikin and singing starling.


Charadrius is a genus of plovers, a group of wading birds. The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. The name derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios, a bird found in river valleys (from kharadra, "ravine"). Some believed that seeing it cured jaundice.They are found throughout the world.

Many Charadrius species are characterised by breast bands or collars. These can be (in the adult) complete bands (ringed, semipalmated, little ringed, long-billed), double or triple bands (killdeer, three-banded, Forbes', two-banded, double-banded) or partial collars (Kentish, piping, snowy, Malaysian, Javan, red-capped, puna).

They have relatively short bills and feed mainly on insects, worms or other invertebrates, depending on habitat, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups. They hunt by sight, rather than by feel as do longer-billed waders like snipe.

Species of the genus Aegialites (or Aegialitis) are now subsumed within Charadrius.

Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve

The Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve is a national nature reserve near the village of Dawlish Warren in south Devon, England. It is part of the Exe Estuary Special Protection Area, and sits on a sand spit which runs across the mouth of the estuary. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and part of it is a local nature reserve.The Dawlish Warren nature reserve provides a major roosting site for wading birds and migratory waterfowl, and serves as a habitat for the endangered petalwort plant. It is also one of only two sites in Britain where the sand crocus (Romulea columnae) grows. A large number of rare vagrant birds have been recorded at Dawlish Warren, including elegant tern, lesser crested tern, long-billed murrelet, greater sand plover, semipalmated plover, cream-coloured courser and great spotted cuckoo. Some sand lizards have also been spotted at the reserve, as a result of re-introductions.

A rare dune grassland habitat can also be found in the nature reserve, and as a result is a candidate Special Area of Conservation. The Nature Reserve also contains one of the main tourist beaches in Teignbridge. Despite the emplacement of considerable quantities of protective rock armour at its lower end, the warren has been subject to erosion by the sea for over a hundred years.The Teignbridge District Council owns and manages the seaward parts of the Nature Reserve, which is open to the public, while the Devon Wildlife Trust maintains the Inner Warren and the saltmarsh, which are not open to the public. The Inner Warren is leased to the Warren Golf Club.

Fauna of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The terrestrial fauna of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is unsurprisingly depauperate, because of the small land area of the islands, their lack of diverse habitats, and their isolation from large land-masses. However, the fauna dependent on marine resources is much richer.

Gembira Loka Zoo

Gembira Loka Zoo is a zoological garden located at Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. Gembira Loka Zoo was opened in 1956 and comprises a botanical garden, orchid nursery, artificial lake, children's park, numerous bridges across the Gajahwong River, and a collection of approximately 470 animals, most notable of which are its Komodo dragons, orang-utans, gibbons, and a hippopotamus. The park is 54 acres in size.

Jean-Baptiste Leschenault de La Tour

Jean-Baptiste Louis Claude Théodore Leschenault de La Tour (13 November 1773 – 14 March 1826) was a French botanist and ornithologist.

Born at the family seat (since 1718), Le Villard, near Chalon-sur-Saône, Leschenault de la Tour arrived in Paris after the death of his father, a judge at Lyon.

Leschenault de La Tour was chief botanist on Nicolas Baudin's expedition to Australia between 1800 and 1803. He collected a great many new specimens in 1801 and 1802, though Baudin's journal suggests that he did not work particularly hard; apparently the poorly educated gardener's boy Antoine Guichenot collected more plant specimens than Leschenault did, and gave them more useful labels. In April 1803 he was so ill that he had to be put ashore at Timor. Forced to spend the next three years on Java he used the time to make the first thorough botanical investigation of the island, which had not previously been visited by naturalists except briefly by Carl Peter Thunberg. He arrived back in France in July 1807 with a large collection of plants and birds.

Leschenault's Javanese birds were described by Georges Cuvier.

Following the Napoleonic Wars, in May 1816 Leschenault travelled to India to collect plants and establish a botanical garden at Pondicherry. He was given permission by the British to travel through Madras, Bengal and Ceylon. He sent many of the plants and seeds he discovered to the French island of Réunion to be cultivated. These included two varieties of sugar cane and six varieties of cotton. He returned to France in 1822 and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur.

Less than a year after his return Leschenault travelled to South America, visiting Brazil, Surinam and French Guiana, and introducing tea bushes to Cayenne, the capital of the French colony. He was forced to return home after only eighteen months due to ill health.

Though Leschenault published little, his collections were subsequently used by other French botanists, including Aimé Bonpland, René Louiche Desfontaines, Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, Jacques Labillardière and Étienne Pierre Ventenat.A number of birds were named after Leschenault, including greater sand plover (Charadrius leschenaultii ), white-crowned forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti ) and sirkeer malkoha (Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii ).

Three species of lizards were named after him: Cryptoblepharus leschenault, Hemidactylus leschenaultii, and Ophisops leschenaultii.The plant genus Lechenaultia is also named after him.

Kumana National Park

Kumana National Park in Sri Lanka is renowned for its avifauna, particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds. The park is 391 kilometres (243 mi) southeast of Colombo on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast. Kumana is contiguous with Yala National Park. Kumana was formerly known as Yala East National Park, but changed to its present name on 5th September 2006.The park was closed from 1985 to March 2003 because of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) attacks. It was also affected by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.

Lake Bolluk

Lake Bolluk is a lake in Turkey.

The lake is in Cihanbeyli ilçe (district) of Konya Province at 38°32′25″N 32°56′34″E. It is situated to the east of the highway D.715, which connects Ankara to Silifke and to the west of Lake Tuz. The area of the lake is 11.5 square kilometres (4.4 sq mi). Its elevation with respect to sea level is 940 metres (3,080 ft). The hard water of the lake contains sodium. Rrecently, there are two threats to lake; the underground water level falls as a result of excessive irrigation and the creeks, which feed the lake, are polluted. World Water Forum Turkey conducts a project to protect the lake.

Lake Düden

Lake Düden, also known as Lake Kulu, (Turkish: Düden Gölü or Kulu Gölü), is a brackish water lake in Konya Province, Turkey.

Lake Düden is located northwest of Lake Tuz and 5 km (3.1 mi) east of Kulu town in Konya Province at an elevation of 950 m (3,120 ft). It is a shallowh brackish water lake covering 860 ha (2,100 acres) area. The lake is fed mainly by Kulu Creek, aka Değirmenözü Creek, in the west. It has no outlet. Spring waters around lake contribute also to the lake's feeding. There are nine islets inside the lake. In the south of the lake, there is a fresh water lake named "Little Lake" (Turkish: Küçük Göl) surrounded by dense reeds. While the ducks generally brooding at the Little Lake in the south, the gulls and common terns prefer the islets in colonies. Lake Düden, Lake Little and their surrounding area of wetlands and steppes are declared protected area in 1992.

Lake Karamık

Lake Karamık is a lake in Turkey.

It is situated to the south of Çay ilçe (district) of Konya Province at 38°25′N 30°50′E. It is a very shallow lake and in some sources it is called a "marsh".

Its elevation with respect to sea level is about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). It feeds Lake Eğirdir a bigger lake to the south by means of an underground creek. The total area of the marsh area is about 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi).

Lesser sand plover

The lesser sand plover (Charadrius mongolus) is a small wader in the plover family of birds. The spelling is commonly given as lesser sand-plover, but the official British Ornithologists' Union spelling is "lesser sand plover". The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in ravines and river valleys (kharadra, "ravine"). The specific mongolus is Latin and refers to Mongolia which at the time of naming referred to a larger area than the present country.

List of birds of the Houtman Abrolhos

The Houtman Abrolhos, an island chain off the coast of Western Australia, is one of the most important areas in the world for breeding colonies of seabirds. Around 90 species of seabird occur there, as well as three species of shore bird, and six species of land bird.

List of birds of the Maldives

The following is a list of birds recorded in the Maldives. The small size and isolation of this Indian Ocean republic means that its avifauna is extremely restricted. Most of the species are characteristic of Eurasian migratory birds, only a few being typically associated with the Indian sub-continent.

Due to poorness of native avifauna, some people (especially resort owners) deliberately release non-native birds.

Some of them, like red lory and budgerigar are established in wild, but are not included in official checklists.

This can't pose threat to native ecosystems because Maldives have no endemic birds and all native land birds are common in India and Bangladesh also.


Plovers ( or ) are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae.

Roebuck Bay

Roebuck Bay is a bay on the coast of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Its entrance is bounded in the north by the town of Broome, and in the south by Bush Point and Sandy Point. It is named after HMS Roebuck, the ship captained by William Dampier when he explored the coast of north-western Australia in 1699. The Broome Bird Observatory lies on the northern coast of the bay.

Wilson's plover

The Wilson's plover (Charadrius wilsonia) is a small plover.

Wilson's plover is a coastal wader which breeds on both coasts of the Americas from the equator northwards. Its range extends north to include much of the U.S. eastern seaboard, and the Pacific coast of Mexico on the west.

It is a partial migrant. Birds leave the United States, except Florida, to winter south in Brazil. Some Mexican birds leave in winter for Peru. Furthermore, a small resident population is known from Brazil, it being named as a new subspecies, brasiliensis, in 2008. In 2012 it was established that this is a junior synonym, and the correct name for the subspecies is crassirostris. This also means that one of the subspecies of the greater sand plover had to be renamed.

This strictly coastal plover nests on a bare scrape on sandy beaches or sandbars.

This is a small plover at 17–20 cm. The adult's upper parts are mainly dark grey, with a short white wing bar and white tail sides. The underparts are white except for a breast band, and the legs are pink, brighter when breeding. The dark bill is large and heavy for a plover of this size. The call is a high weak whistle.

The breeding male has a black breast band, lores and forecrown, and a rufous mask. Females and non-breeding males have a similar plumage, but the black of the breeding male is replaced by brown or rufous. Non-breeders have a greyer tint to the head and breast band.

Immature birds are similar to the female, but the breast band is often incomplete.

Wilson's plovers forage for food on beaches, usually by sight, moving slowly across the beach. They have a liking for crabs, but will also eat insects and marine worms.

This bird was named after the Scottish-American ornithologist Alexander Wilson by his friend George Ord in 1814.

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