The lesser sand plover (Charadrius mongolus) is a small Asian plover resembling its larger cousin, the greater sand plover. It is a frequent visitor of Hong Kong, though is slightly less common than the greater sand plover.
These small waders have a greyish-brown outer plumage. Like greater sand plovers, the juveniles have more patterned wings while adults have uniform grey wings. The mild grey and white markings on the head give way to a black mask around the eyes, and a brick-red neck-band that extends to the breast. Because they
One of the distinguishing features between the lesser and the greater sand plovers is their retention of some of their breeding red neckband throughout the year in the form of a rusty buff on the breast, as in the juvenile pictured above.
Another distinguishing feature is the overall shorter bill relative to head size compared with the greater sand plover. Additionally, they have darker legs and an overall shorter statue, both of which you can surmise from the photo below, featuring a greater sand plover in the background.
These birds breed in central Asia, eastern Russia, northern China, and Siberia wintering in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
They forage on coastal mudflats, sandy shores, and backwaters looking for worms and small crustaceans.