There is no Greater Bird than Greater Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Sightings of the Greater Sand Plovers are occasionally observed along the beaches’ coastlines of the western portion of Koh Chang. They usually forage at low tide on wet ground away from the water’s edge. Their presence adds vibrancy to tourists’ coastal sea viewing.
The scientific name of the Greater Sand Plover is Charadrius leschenaultii. As a migratory bird, it prefers habitats with sparse vegetation like sandy beaches. It is seldom observed in very large flocks. It is often encountered singly though it freely joins other waders and plovers when feeding of roosting. Greater Sand Plovers are distinguishable by their grey-brown crown and nape. Their lores, bill and upperwing are black while their ear coverts are dusky. They have prominent white forehead, throat, chin and under parts. Their dorsum is colored brown-gray and the legs and feet are greenish-gray. This species has unique way of presentation when in breeding period. Its plumage on the breast and the top of its head change to a dull brick red and the small feathers that cover the ear region change color from dusky gray to black. Compared to the Lesser Sand Plovers, Greater Sand Plovers have a larger and longer bill and legs.
The Greater Sand Plovers are carnivorous. They survived during breeding season on diets which include insects, beetles, termites, midges and ants. During non-breeding season, they eat mainly marine invertebrates such as crustaceans (like shrimps and small crabs), mollusks and worms. Prey is detected visually by running short distance, stopping to look, then running to collect it. The population of this species is classified to be of Least Concern in the Conservation Status, they are estimated in global scale to be in the range of 180,000 to 360,000 individuals. Their calls are clear “triii…” or “trrirrrt….” sound. They nest in a shallow scrape on the ground like sandy hills, gravel or on other barren substrates but not too close to waters.