[Plovers] White-faced Plover in Hong Kong

White-faced Plover in Hong Kong

Not yet, but it could well be found here before the end of April.  

These distinctive, 'mystery' plovers have now been seen at several locations during winter 2007-08 including Singapore (up to 14 birds), Malaysia (6), Thailand (3+4) and Vietnam (at least 2).

The breeding grounds are still unknown but may lie in China. If so, these birds may be expected to be found in Hong Kong. Wintering birds are now departing and migrating with Kentish Plovers, and could be arriving here by the end of March.

We have established that they favour sand spits and areas of land reclaim with a sandy substrate with little or no vegetation, rather than mudflats. They may avoid the Mai Po/Deep Bay area where most waders occur due to lack of suitable habitat, and these plovers could be turning up in out of the way places. If you should find a flock of small charadrius plovers, even on land reclaim sites in the urban area or beaches on the offshore islands, please do check them carefully.

The photo here, taken by David Bakewell in Malaysia in February 2008, shows the distinctive pallid appearance of these birds.

For more information about these birds, see


I've had small groups of Kentish Plovers on beaches in Sai Kung before - specifically just north of the town near the old Beach Resort Hotel - and must admit I didn't look at them that closely.

I will next time!

Mike Turnbull