Sociable Lapwing - Steppekievit

Sociable Lapwing

Steppekievit

Vanellus gregarius

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk

Every year in spring at least one Sociable Lapwing is found in The Netherlands. Many birders assume it is most likely one or two individuals returning every year, joining flocks of Lapwing on their way up from the South towards our lush meadows. Sometimes they are reported until autumn, but usually we lose track of them during the month of May. I personally think it's one of the most beautiful birds occurring in the Western Palearctic, their delicate but contrasting head and belly pattern always appearing very special every time I see one.
This bird was a little unusual in not joining any Lapwings at all: it was just on its own, walking around in a rather wet meadow near the town of Stompwijk, very close to the city of Leiden, where I live. It stayed there for at least three weeks.

Click here to hear its rasping alarm call, uttered both perched and in flight (bottom pictures).

  Sociable Lapwing  -  Steppekievit  Vanellus gregarius   presumable male;  videograbs (320x), contrast enhanced.
  Stompwijk ZH, The Netherlands, 8 April 2001.

  Sociable Lapwing  -  Steppekievit  Vanellus gregarius   presumable male;  videograbs (320x), contrast enhanced.
  Stompwijk ZH, The Netherlands, 22 April 2001.

 


Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2001