The Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii is a medium-sized wader that breeds in steppe and semi-steppe areas from the highlands of eastern Turkey to central Asia. After the breeding season it starts a long-distance migration, wintering along the coasts of East Africa, the Indian Ocean and Australasia. A few individuals winter in eastern Mediterranean. Due to its very large and scattered distribution, it is difficult to make an accurate census of its global population, but BirdLife give a rough estimate of 180,000-360,000 birds (Least Concern Species of the IUCN Red List)1.
Male Greater Sand Plover, Crete, March 2008 (Colin Turvey)
The third and fourth records both came from the island of Kos, in the Dodecanese, in April 1966 and September 1967 by H. Pieper and R. Koch respectively, but with no further information on the number of birds, locations or exact dates5.
The next six records, all from western Greece occurring between 1989 and 1994 are all cited in The Birds of Greece6.
Most of the observations come from the wetlands of southwest Naxos (15), Mesolonghi and Crete (9 each), and from Alyki Lagoon in Aigio (7). The species has not yet been recorded in northern Greece and surprisingly, there are no confirmed records from Lesvos (although there are several unconfirmed reports from Lesvos)8.