Sunday, 27 May 2018

Decline and deceit …

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Also known as the Peewit in imitation of its display calls, its more familiar vernacular name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and somewhat round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive; even without seeing its splendid crest and beautiful dark green, purple and copper plumage. This once familiar farmland bird has suffered significant declines and is now a Red List species - with changes in farming practices being the main recent cause of this decline. Targeted conservation work on individual farms in my home county of Sussex have brought notable increases in breeding pairs, but there are not enough of these intensive schemes to make a difference at a landscape and population scale. Success on many nature reserves is at best patchy and any recovery, if it happens, looks likely to be slow.

The above image was taken in the Outer Hebrides in May 2017.


Barfield, C., 2014. Lapwing. The Birds of Sussex. Thetford: British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Books on behalf of the Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 243-245.
Pepper, R.T., 1996. Lapwing. Birds of Sussex. Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 244-246.

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