[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Charadrius leschenaultii | [UK] Greater Sand Plover | [FR] Gravelot de Leschenault | [DE] Wüstenregenpfeifer | [ES] Chorlitejo mongol | [IT] Corriere di Leschenault | [NL] Woestijnplevier

Woestijnplevier determination

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Larger than C. mongolus, with larger, broader head, larger bill, longer legs and somewhat paler upperparts. Legs usually paler greyish green, but rather variable. Male has narrower and more sharply demarcated rufous breast band than C. mongolus. Female has black on head dark grey-brown, no dark stripe on forehead, less extensive chestnut coloration on breast band. Plumages of non-breeding adult and juvenile very similar to those of C. mongolus. Races generally very similar, deffering in bill shape and color, both of breeding adult and of juvenile. Race columbinus extensively rufous on back and also on upper flanks.

During breeding season found in deserts or semi deserts, at lower altitudes than C. mongolus. In open, uncultivated and treeless areas with bare, dry surface, usually near water. During non-breeding season, mainly found on coast, on sheltered sandy, shelly or muddy beaches and estuaries, with large swamps. Usually roosts on sandbanks and spits.

Charadrius leschenaultii has a predominantly Asian distribution, although it also occurs as a summer visitor to parts of Turkey and southern Russia. Its European breeding population is very small (as few as 1,000 pairs), but the trend between 1970-1990 was unknown. Although the trend of the Russian population during 1990-2000 was also unknown, the species underwent a moderate decline in Turkey, and probably underwent a moderate decline (>10%) overall. As a consequence of this continuing decline and its small population.

Mainly beetles, also molluscs, worms crustaceans, shrimps and other insects and their larvae. Occasionally lizards. Feeds on mud or sand on intertidal mudflats, salt-marsh, shores of lades and

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 190,000-360,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern [conservation status from birdlife.org]

April-May in Central Asia. Solitary. Nest is shallow scrape in ground, variably lined with plant fragments, situated in the open or among low vegetation. 3 eggs, incubation by both parents for at least 24 days. Chick has crown, back and band down leg pale cream or straw yellow, marked with black spots and lines, eyeline, forehead and sides of head black, and hindneck collar and underparts white. tended by both parents. First breeds when 2 years old.

Migratory. Winters on shores of Australasia and Indian Ocean, but relation between breeding and non-breeding quarters poorly known. Probably migrates in broad front non-stop to non-breeding areas; some birds follow coast and occasionally large flocks are seen on passage, typically mixed with C. mongolus. Apparently strong fidelity to non-breeding sites. Flocks form after breeding season between mid-June and early August. Abundant in South China and Hong Kong late July to November; arrives Australia mid-August, Siuth Asia and Sudan to Tanzania late August to September, adults and immatures before juveniles. Body mass peaks in early April in Australia. Starts moving North from South East Asia in late February, peaking March to early April, and reaches breeding grounds from mid-March, most April-May. Departs East Africa and South Asia mid-April to early May. Some wintering birds, probably non-adults remain in wintering areas during breeding season.