Lesser Sandplover

Charadrius mongolus

This species, formerly known as Mongolian Plover, is almost annual in the Pribilofs. The majority of records come from southbound birds in August, but a few spring and even mid summer adults have also appeared on Saint Paul. Lesser Sandplovers are birds of open sand flats, or sandy lake shores. As such they are most often seen around the Salt Lagoon, Pumphouse Lake, the beach east of Tonki Point, and around Lake Dune. Several reports involve birds in flight only, as flying Lesser Sandplovers often utter a distinctive hard trill, very different form the flight calls of Common Ringed or Semipalmated Plovers. It is worth mentioning, in light of the remarkable occurrence of a Greater Sandplover in central California that any Lesser Sandplovers seen on the Pribilofs should bear close scrutiny. Greater Sandplovers are larger, with thicker and longer bills which show more of a distinct point, paler legs (which extend past the tail on a flying bird), and will often appear to have longer tibia.