Northern Lapwings, Suffolk, UK

I’m spending a couple of weeks at home with parents in the agricultural plains of East Anglia, south-east England. This trip has been all about spending time with family, so getting out to look at birds has not been a priority. Nevertheless, I did manage a morning in my Dad’s hide, using my Dad’s camera, in a nearby field, to try to photograph a flock of about 70 Northern Lapwings yesterday.

Lapwings used to winter in great flocks in fields all around my parents’ home when I was a teenager, but now, I’ve only found this one small flock – a sad sign of the times.

IMG_2747Despite the snow and freezing temperatures here, it’s supposed to be spring, and the male Lapwings are starting to court the females, and challenge each other!

IMG_2703

IMG_2704Aggressors tip their tail forward and run toward a rival male, then pursue them in flght till they’re off their patch of turf. Whether it’s Lesser Sand Plovers defending their bit of mudflat in Penang or Northern Lapwings tilting at each other in England, you’ve got to love the innate aggression which all plovers seem to exhibit!

IMG_2754Another altercation about to start! A male approaches another, crest raised forward to the max!

IMG_2759

They move closer, trying to look as macho as possible!

IMG_2760 IMG_2764IMG_2767

They strut their stuff for a bit…

IMG_2766

Then the gloves are off!

IMG_2771

The loser flies off to try his luck elsewhere.

IMG_2831

Meanwhile, the victorious male turns his attentions to the female…

IMG_2832

…who, sadly for him, doesn’t seem too impressed!

Despite spending 4+ hours in the hide, the birds were always wary of me, and never came close enough for satisfactory photos. This was the closest one came.

IMG_2799

I was amazed to find that, even in a temperature of 7 degrees C, there was a heat haze!

IMG_2818 IMG_2819

Distinctive on the ground and in flight, Northern Lapwing is a potential vagrant visitor to Malaysia, and could possibly occur in flocks of Pacific Golden Plovers wintering in paddyfields rather than on the coast. I think they are one of the most attractive waders there is – they look exotic on the deck and in the air, and they have an amazing call too. One to look out for!

IMG_2584 IMG_2598

Partridges in Europe don’t present the same challenges as those in the rainforests of South-east Asia. Nevertheless, they are pretty shy, so I was pleased to get these images of a pair of Grey Partridges feeding near the road. The male was obviously fired up for spring, just like the lapwings!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Northern Lapwings, Suffolk, UK

    • Hi Wong,

      Yes, I’m not quite sure how it’s caused – whether it is moisture evaporating from the fields – but it looks just the same as a Malaysian heat wave, and it messes up photography just the same!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s