Tuesday 18 January 2011

Northern lapwings find some friends

Part of the reason I re-visited Old Marj for a second Friday running was to see the northern lapwing. I love this bird but it doesn't love me. It keeps its distance which isn't helped by a complete lack of cover in its preferred meadows so approach on Friday was very slow and based on confidence building.

If anything there were more northern lapwing around than last week and I did manage to get a little bit closer. The pictures are marginally better and my boots are much muddier than last week.

northern lapwing at Old Marj

I got a bit of a surprise in one field. The northern lapwing were not alone. Mixed in with them were a dozen or so golden plover.

I had read in my Collins guide that they often associate in winter but this is the first time that I have seen it.

mixed group of northern lapwing and golden plover

It took me a few moments to rule out dotterel (rather than golden plover) after all I have seen them wintering  40 kilometres south of Old Marj. The terrain where I saw dotterel was also completely different.

blow up of above picture

Two or three of the golden plover had started to develop a dark brown belly in preparedness for spring. I hesitate to call the belly black.

Spring isn't far way now and I expect to see the first passage birds in about four weeks. They are going to find northern Libya much greener place than for the last three years. Rainfall has been high this winter and it's making everyone here happy including me.

No comments:

Post a Comment