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White-faced plover

The white-faced plover (Charadrius alexandrinus dealbatus) is a small shorebird, usually considered to be a subspecies of the Kentish plover. With a length of about 17 cm (6.7 in), it differs from the latter in having a thicker, blunter beak, white lores, paler crown and overparts, less black on the lateral breast patches and a larger white wingbar. The bird is found in south-eastern China, Vietnam, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, and is partially migratory.

Seen here on the mudflats of Laem Phak Bia in Thailand, the white-faced plover feeds on the foreshore, searching visually for prey then dashing forward to catch the animal or probe in the substrate with its beak. Its diet consists of small invertebrates such as insects and their larvae, spiders, molluscs, crustaceans and marine worms. Its breeding habits are not known.

Photograph credit: John Harrison

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