20 Aug 2012

Greater & Lesser Sand Plovers - Dammam - Al Khobar Wader Roost South

Numbers of both species of Sand Plover have gradually built up over the month with Lesser Sand Plover numbers being about one tenth that of Greater Sand Plover. Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius altifrons is a very common passage migrant and common winter visitor to the coast, with some birds over-summering. The sub-species that occurs is C. a. pamirensis although C. a. altifrons may possibly occur particularly on Red Sea coast. The Tarut Bay area where I do most of my coastal birding is probably the best site for Lesser Sand Plover with 2500+ birds seen on some occasions.

Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii is also a common passage migrant and winter visitor to the coast with some birds over-summering. The sub-species that occur are C. l. crassirostris although C. l. columbinus occurs on the Red Sea coast and possibly northern Gulf. It is regarded as less common then Lesser Sand Plover over the year but is currently much more common. The Tarut Bay area is again the best site for Greater Sand Plover with 500+ birds seen regularly.
Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover

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