Sand Plovers or Sandpipers?

Feeding Time

These birds were an unexpected find when we went visiting the coastal stretch between Kuala Selangor and Klang, which brought us to Pantai Jeram and Pantai Remis. We planned the visit for low tide towards late afternoon, when we get to go on the beach and explore a bit, check out the teeming coastal animals that thrives within these coastal habitats. Pantai Jeram’s beach is covered in thick mud flats, making it difficult (and messy) to walk on if you do not have wellies with you. Pantai Remis, which is slightly further down south, is much better, and after working our way pass the stone wall wave breaker, we were on the gravel beach.

Just For You, Ken, Got The Shot?

While exploring the beach, we spotted these pod of birds foraging on the reefs at the outer part of the beach. When I got nearer for a closer look and some photography, I realised they were likely migratory birds making their way down south for greener pastures. These are small size birds, with my zoom at maximum focal length, I did my best to fill the frame by getting as close as I can without scaring them away and carefully composing around the reefs. The XF 100-400mm is out, but just too expensive for me to contemplate owning one 😦 at present.

Aha! There Goes One …

Upon doing some research later, it all made sense to me, I learned there are only eight migratory bird flyways in the world, and Kapar (which is quite close to Pantai Remis) is the only site in Malaysia along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. And the birds look like they could be either lesser sand plovers from the Charadriidae family or sandpipers (semipalmated sandpiper, least sandpiper, white rumped sandpiper), I can’t be certain as they look almost the same to my untrained eye. Any bird watcher/enthusiast out there reading this who is in the know, your input is appreciated.

The Finer Art of Flying

My research revealed something very interesting about the reefs too, they are polychaete reefs constructed by the sand-cementing worms, Annelida Polychaeta Sabellariidae, the only one known at present within South-East Asia.

All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 55-200mm


13 thoughts on “Sand Plovers or Sandpipers?

  1. I am no expert either but i think they are sand plovers. Also, it would be easier to tell if we know the color of the legs. It could be a green sandpiper too but the body shape and color is making me lean more on sand plover. So my none expert super noob guess is that it is a sand plover. If i would try to be more precise, I think it is the greater sand plover not the lesser sand plover because of its brown color and longer bill. Again, im no expert.

    • hi marcgell, my niggling question is finally answered, thank you very much for chiming in and commenting. for a none expert super noob on birds, you do know a lot about them! thanks and regards, ken. btw, just out of curiosity, how did you find my blog?

  2. Great shots, Ken!! Really enjoyed them! As for that lens, I hear you! I know how expensive good lenses are! If you haven’t done so, start saving now for one. Before you know it, you’ll have enough put aside to buy it. 😉 ❤

    • happy new year and best wishes for 2017, amy. am thinking of getting a few items this year, but this lens is not one of them, it’s costly and I don’t think i will be shooting lots with it to make it a justifiable investment, too bad we don’t have lens rental service here in malaysia. regard, ken.

  3. That last shot, Ken. Wow. Take-off. Perfect timing, and your lens served you well there 😉 Not every day you get a shot like that. Well done. I thought you made the most of what you had and the photos turned out brilliantly. I am not a follower of birds, and unfortunately can’t pinpoint exactly the species of bird. Maybe a bit more Googling will help 😉

    • thanks, mabel. the xf 55-200 is a great lens, without a doubt; it has amazed me with some incredible shots through the years since i had it. you know, i spent quite a bit of time trying to google/suss out this sand plover/sandpiper thingy but to no avail, i give up. maybe some day, a bird lover will chime in 🙂 and enlighten me. wishing you a merry christmas and happy new year, happy holidays! regards,ken.

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