And right here is where I throw my hands up in despair when it comes to shore-birds. I love them, but oh god I have problems telling the little buggers apart.
The four plovers here are all different species. Clockwise from the top left they are a semi-palmated plover, a piping plover, a snowy plover and a Wilson's plover. We saw all of these on Marco Island in Florida and as usual the MO was try and take as many pictures as possible and then compare them to the pictures in the field guide. Conversations run along the lines of "so what colour legs has it got?", "what about the neck ring?", "check the beak".
The piping plover was the highlight. They're endangered, so it was an absolute joy when we spotted him and were able to confirm that he was indeed a piping plover. We were convinced he was going to turn out to be a snowy.