Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Tuul River, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Nikon D4, Nikkor 200-400mm lens, 1.4 teleconverter.
At about six inches (15 cm) from bill to tail and weighing just an ounce and a half or so (40 g), little ringed plovers are common along the Tuul River near Ulaanbaatar. Their small size, pale pink legs and bright yellow eye rings are diagnostic. These wary little birds seem to bob their heads and scurry back and forth along the shoreline constantly, hence the Latin “dubius” which means moving to and fro. They’re ground nesters. Among the shoreline rocks and pebbles, their light brown or grey speckled eggs are virtually invisible. As fall approaches, little ringed plovers migrate to Africa where they spend the winter.
We’re now at 40 species and counting in our urban birding adventures in and around Ulaanbaatar.