At a risk of slipping into full blown twitching vernacular, but, some birds deserve it!
This morning, Gary Woodburn was on patch counting an arrival of Hooded Crows. He had passed the Low Newton scrapes in one direction and was on his way back up on the return walk when he struck not only Patch Gold, but also County, UK and Western Palearctic Gold too with the most preposterous of MEGAs. Britain's first GREY-HEADED LAPWING non the less.
|Grey-headed Lapwing, Low Newton, Northumberland.|
When the first message arrived in our WhatsApp group, time seemed to pause briefly. I could almost hear the rest of the Northumberland WhatsApp Group members thinking, 'A what?'
This is not a species we have ever seen on the bird info services or in our magazines, so whilst I had heard of them, I had no idea of the range or likelihood of vagrancy so did a quick bit of Googling.
The oracle 'Wiki' gave me -
'The grey-headed lapwing (Vanellus cinereus) is a lapwing species which breeds in northeast China and Japan. The mainland population winters in northern Southeast Asia from northeastern India to Cambodia. The Japanese population winters, at least partially, in southern Honshū.
Then, in a more European context, birds were seen in Turkey in 2018, Norway and Sweden in 2019 and it has been mooted a potential vagrant to the UK.
Dutch Birding magazine reported, when discussing the 2019 bird, that there were none or very few birds in captivity to make escape potential an issue.
As is the way on Bank Holidays, there are always family commitments to fulfill so it wasn't until mid afternoon before I could dash the six miles from home where I was relieved to find the bird quite comfortable, feeding and wandering around the meadow as if it had been born there. Good scope views were had but it was always a bit distant for my photography.
Grey headed Lapwing all the way from the Orient arrives at Low