Belongs to: breeding waders

Compare with: little ringed plover

Ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Small brown-and-white plover with orange legs and two-tone bill

Nest on sand and shingle beaches all around the Essex coast, along the Thames and in the Lea Valley

Widespread and common resident, spreading out along estuaries and shores in winter


Brown upperparts and white below; black on face, legs orange with orange and black bill; 19 cm

Form feeding parties running about busily, bobbing their heads and picking up invertebrates from the surface

Fly off in compact flocks when disturbed, twisting and turning over the water and showing a prominent wingbar


Male makes a scrape on bare ground or short turf and female lines it with pebbles or shells

Usually 2 broods of 4 pear-shaped buff eggs, spotted brown, May–July; both parents incubate and tend the chicks

Feign a broken wing to distract enemies and draw them away from the nest

© Alan Williams