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This small plover was photographed on September 17 2002; It must surely be an adult, based on the deep, blackish breast-band; I was able to study the bird very carefully via telescope - it had no trace of a pale orbital ring; it's feet remained hidden the whole time, and when it flew off it was silent; while there was a white intrusion above the line of the gape, the area immediately above the gape point was actually dark-colored; I had been seeing up to six SEPLs at this same spot in the preceding days, but this day there were no others for comparison - however this bird first drew my attention because it looked much darker (and "colder") than those I'd been seeing previously (also adults):

The bill was unlike anything I've seen on a Semip. Plover previously, being slim and evenly tapering to a blunt point, with just a tinge of dull orange-flesh at the base of the mandible:

The collage below is based upon the recent images at the excellent resource for serious birders: Irishbirding.com ; it shows two local Irish Common Ringed plovers (juvs) with the recent Irish juv. Semipalmated Plover, plus the Benbrook plover (an adult), for comparsion:

NOTE: in the image above/below there is a shadow in the stone behind the bill near the tip that is distorting the distal maxilla shape:

Discussion (texts in quotes are from "Shorebirds" by Hayman, Marchant and Prater):
I see varying numbers of SEPLs every season here in North Texas, and I study all of them to learn their variations. I feel that CRPL is a stealth vagrant throughout Norh America, given it's breeding range and known vagrancy in Alaska and the NE seaboard of North America. When trying to identify these plovers, it is important to understand the geographical variations that are known (and keep in mind that some variations may remain undocumented.) I am unaware of any published data on geographic variation in SEPL; given its fairly large breeding range, I'd expect there to be some variation - maybe in bill structure - but I do not know how this manifests itself. Two races of CRPL are recognized:- nominate hiaticula breeds from "NE Canada to W Europe", with tundrae occupying the rest of the range from northern Scandinavia across Russia to the Chuchki Peninsular. While it is generally held that tundrae is "smaller and darker than the nominate race", it is vital to also note that "This division is unsatisfactory in that there are clines in both size and upperpart colour which run north-south rather than east-west: the largest, palest individuals are in S. Britain and France, and are much more distinct from tundrae than are nominate birds from Greenland." - my underlining here, to emphasize the caution needed when comparing images of SEPL to British CRPLs.
If the north-south cline in upperparts colour is found across the entire range of both these plovers, then this might explain the anomaly whereby CRPLs found at Gambell Island among commoner SEPLs in May/June appear paler than the SEPLs, yet along the North American Atlantic seaboard vagrant CRPLs appear darker than SEPLs, and then in Western Europe unworn SEPLs are expected to look a bit darker than CRPLs:- Perhaps the Gambell CRPLs are Spring overshoots from the southernmost populations in NE Russia while the SEPLs from NW Alaska may be among the darkest of that taxon; Conversely, vagrant CRPLs seen in NE North America are likely from the most northerly-breeding populations in this entire complex(northern Greenland and northernmost Canadian islands), where they may be seen among the most-southerly-breeding (palest?) SEPLs; Over in Europe it is likely that the vagrant SEPLS come from more-northerly populations on southern Baffin Island, and they are seen among the southernmost CRPLs.
So, when comparing photos used in ID articles (e.g. BIRDING, Vol. XXV: No. 4, Aug. 1993 - Dunn; BIRDING WORLD, Vol. 10 #6, June 1997 - Lakin, Rylands et al.) it is critical to stay aware of which "types" of each species you are comparing.
To get a feel of how different the two races of CRPL can appear, look at Dick Newell's CRPL images depicting presumed hiaticula and tundrae together; given that BWP describes quite distinct moult strategies for these forms, IDing some individuals of CRPL may be easier than IDing a SEPL from CRPL!
I also recommend looking at this plover from southern California(especially its feet); another challenge to our understanding of these forms.