I feel sure that this is a Lesser Sand Plover (ie the atrifrons group) - as opposed to Mongolian Plover (ie the mongolus group). The bill structure looks good to separate it from Greater; the length of the exposed tibia looks shorter to my eyes on Lesser than Greater, but perhaps it is best not to dwell on this too much.
A good find. I would be interested to know how many records there have been on the east coast of the US; I suspect it may well be as many as the UK.
Agreed with Lesser Sandplover, not sure about the race though, I would have said adult non-breeding mongolus off the top of my head.
Which race was at Rimac? This one looks similar.
There have been just a handful of "Lessers" on the east coast.
More photos here:
Erik Hirschfeld commented on the photos to one VA birderID Frontiers seems fairly split on the ID.I'd like to see more photos, but everything on these photos with regards to stance and head/bill point to Greater. The bill is quite small, but on at least on one picture it looks more massive.
Last edited by AndyB; September 8th, 2009 at 04:00 AM.
Quite small to more massive is quite a significant step.
Looking at some of the photos in isolation it could stand as a Greater, has it been seen in flight?
In-flight photos here. Tail appears fairly uniform(?) and bill shape would conform to my impression of Lesser (Dave Bakewell's always entertaining blog has a good example of a large-billed Lesser). Also, don't Greaters moult before migrating south so one would not expect a Greater with hints of breeding plumage at this time of year?
I read Hirschfeld is pronouncing a Greater of the large-billed group and Pyle has also agreed with the ID
I obviously flunked Sandplover school!Yes, definitely. And on this link http://www.birdsofvirginia.com/Image...verA_Link.html it is quite clear that it is of the leschenaultii/crassirostris subspecies group. The bill cannot look like that on a columbinus (and certainly not on any mongolus subspecies) , e. g. the angle on the lower mandible is very prominent.
It would be good to see some crisp photos though. Apparently, the bird is showing well but there just seems to be a lot of hazy digiscoped images to look through. Colin, now's the time for the DSLR boys to show us the money!
Last edited by AndyB; September 9th, 2009 at 06:00 AM.
It is interesting to see the various images, some of which appear to show the bill as having a slightly finer tip. However, in the majority the bill still seems to me to be shorter than I would expect for Greater.
This photo clearly shows a classical Lesser Sandplover-like bill:
The tip is blunt and the bulb covers clearly less than half of the length of the bill. Also e.g. the round head fits perfectly Lesser Sandplover.
I have only a passing interest in this bird but have looked at all the photos (and some are taken with a Canon DSLR) which are appalling and on the basis of which, in my opinion, a firm I.D. could not be made. From the potential rarity status of this bird I am surprised that no-one with top end gear has tried to get some shots of this bird.
Pity that you are so far away - the Pentax and Kowa might well have got the "money shot" .