Okay, the votes are in. My Golden Plover is a Black-bellied and my Western Sandpiper is a Dunlin. The Plover has a "big head and steep forehead". I'll add more reasons for its identity if they're sent to me. How ever do people learn how to identify shorebirds? The only one I'm good at is Black Oystercatcher.
Addendum: Hendrik Herlyn added some very helpful reasons: "...Overall very grayish plumage, no brownish or golden tones at all. Pacific Golden would show a lot of gold, and even American Golden should have some. Your bird has a rather big head and huge eye. Both Golden-Plovers have smaller heads and don't appear so big-eyed. Black-belly is overall chunkier and shorter-legged. In flight, it shows a pale rump and dark axillaries (not visible in your pics). It also has much bolder white wingbars than the two Golden-Plovers, which shows up nicely in your first photo." Thank you, Hendrik!
At Whelan Island today we saw what I called a Golden-Plover. I am confused by the apparent white wingstripe and pretty big bill. Do Goldens have wing stripes or is this a Black-bellied? This bird was a long way off so the photos are not good. It was keeping company with a single peep with dark legs which I presumed to be a Western Sandpiper. (Photo at right.) Click on the photos to enlarge.
More Plover photos:
Addendum: Do I have these right? Semi-palmated Plovers... (Yes, the pros say I finally got something right.)