Mar 042017
Winter visitors and passage migrants – Haradh

Phil Roberts and I went to Haradh recently and found plenty of good birds despite the temperature being 1 degrees Celsius the coldest day for many years in the region as well as a bitingly cold northerly wind. Some birds were winter visitors such as Mallard, Northern Lapwing, Desert Wheatear, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Tawny […]

Feb 222017
The Vanishing: Europe’s farmland birds

The Head of Conservation for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia explains how intensive agriculture has made farmland birds one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Once upon a time, they were all around us – sights and sounds as familiar as the dusky skies their flocks danced in or the wind whistling through […]

Feb 082017
Birding the pivot fields – Haradh

The winter months are a good time to visit Haradh pivot irrigation fields as they hold a lot of good birds at this time of year. Large numbers of wintering Harriers, particularly Western Marsh Harrier and Pallid Harrier occur here and I saw well over thirty birds of both species during my visit. Another group […]

Jan 052017
Climate change driving birds to migrate early, research reveals

Migrating birds are responding to the effects of climate change by arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, research has found. The University of Edinburgh study, which looked at hundreds of species across five continents, found that birds are reaching their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree […]

Jul 072016
Brittany - Birding around St Malo and Dinan

Brittany, France – May, 2016 – the northern coast of Brittany in France is a great place to spend some time. The dramatic rugged coastline, sandy beaches, wildlife, food and Breton culture are well worth exploring! We were based around Cancale on the east side of the bay of Mont St Michel. Here the oysters […]

Feb 172016
Saudi Arabia largest flock of Northern Lapwings - Haradh

As mentioned in a previous post Phil Roberts and I travelled to Haradh an area of extensive pivot irrigation fields three hours drive from Dhahran and found some access to some very good looking fields in various stages of growth from ploughed to fallow to newly growing. We eventually came across two very damp newly […]

Nov 112015
Red List reveals Europe’s farmland wading birds in crisis

The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is out – and it’s sounding alarm bells for some of Europe’s most charismatic and cherished shorebirds (also known as wading birds). The list highlights sharp declines in most farmland wader species across much of Europe in recent decades. In some cases, these falls […]

Nov 162014
Lapwings and Water rail: mirror, shine and attitudes

Vanellus vanellus – 3 Northern lapwings landed about 60 m from the hide, the distance was a pity but the show was great! 3 Vanneaux huppés se sont posés peu avant que le râle n’apparaisse, à environ 60 mètres de nous: même avec le 500 mm c’était juste en distance.     Rallus aquaticus – […]

May 142014
Loss of farmland birds provokes action from BirdLife Partners

We are currently in the midst of an EU wide crisis that is causing birds to disappear across European farmlands. Biodiversity rich grasslands are being converted on a massive scale to maize fields for the production of biofuels and fodder. Heavy subsidies for biogas production add pressure on top of the ever growing intensification of […]

Dec 282012
The new "blue lagoons"

In the late 1990s Tom Tarrant was birding the Riyadh area and he kept good records which I often compare against today’s findings. He has written about “the blue lagoons”. This was part of the Riyadh river where the habitat is more open than the area around the pivot fields where I normally bird. He […]

Nov 132012
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Thanks to hurricane Sandy, we have had an influx of the Northern Lapwing into North America, with 12 confirmed sightings, in Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Nova Scotia, New York and Newfoundland. An excellent explanation of why this has occurred was explained in the BirdCast site. Here in Massachusetts, the first sightings were on Nantucket Island, […]

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

This species is suspected to be decreasing at a moderately rapid rate. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened. Should new information suggest these declines are occurring more rapidly it would warrant uplisting; it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criteria A2abce+3bce+4abce. Factsheet: Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus