Grey-headed Lapwing

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30th May 2023


Britain’s first Grey-headed Lapwing turned up in Northumberland on May 1st.  A large wader with spectacular long yellow legs, a bright yellow black tipped bill, and a bright red eye, it is a native of China and Japan.  It remained in the area for a time attracting hundreds of twitchers.  It now transpires it was seen by a farmer in Fife on 12th May and the next report was that it landed at a pig farm near Lossiemouth on the following day, 13th May.  I hastily made arrangements to dash to Lossiemouth early the next morning only to get the news that it had disappeared.  Any thoughts of adding it to my Scottish list were firmly put on hold and there was no further word of the bird until it surprised everyone by turning up in North Uist on Friday 26th.  Ironically, it was in a field near where four of us had been watching a Corncrake on the previous Sunday.  Undeterred, I managed to get on the ferry as a food passenger and thanks to help from Steve Duffield and his family was able to connect with the bird on the 27th.  It has since moved on so who knows where next!  Was it worth it?  Absolutely - a spectacular looking bird!  And maybe it flew over Skye - or even landed!