Ringed Plovers can be told from Little Ringed Plovers by their larger size, pot-bellied appearance, bolder mannerisms and the lack of a yellow eye ring. Additionally, the adults have a thick black and yellow bill and brighter orange legs.
Juveniles have a less uniform head pattern than a young Little Ringed Plover, including a broad pale mark behind the eye and a more obvious pale forehead. Ringed Plovers show an obvious pale wing bar in flight, unlike Little Ringed Plovers.
Breeds on shingle or sand by the coast and occasionally on inland sites such as gravel pits. In Lapland it often nests on gravel roadsides. Winters on estuary mudflats and muddy beaches.
A widespread breeding bird around most coasts and in some inland areas, with fewer birds in the southwest. In winter numbers are bolstered by the arrival of birds from the continent.
Occurs commonly in coastal areas throughout Western Europe.
There are just under 8500 pairs of the nominate race breeding in the UK, representing 80% of the temperate breeding population of this race. With up to 28600 over wintering.