Sunday, November 11, 2012

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Today I saw on my 640th life bird –  Northern Lapwing Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)and I did not have to travel to the island of Nantucket to see it.  I was sitting at my computer, when an email came in from Massbird stating that the Lapwing was observed on the four Street fields at Cumberland's important bird area.  I got my gear together, grabbed my son and off we went to see if we could find this rarity.
The Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is a shorebird in the plover family.  It is normally found throughout the temperate area of Eurasia and is highly migratory.  It is a casual vagrant to the East Coast of the United States.  In fact, this year is a great year for this bird.  There have been two northern lapwing's found on Nantucket and many birders have traveled by ship over to Nantucket to see them.  I explored the data are on eBird and found that the one I saw at Cumberland's, in Hanover Massachusetts on Fuller Street is the first known record for this location.
As we drove down Fuller Street, ahead of us.  We saw a number of cars parked on both sides the road and groups of people with cameras and spotting scopes, looking out into the field.  I stopped and parked the car, first I went over and asked one of the gentlemen if I look through his scope to see the bird, just in case it flew away.  After I had my peek at this lovely bird, I got out my camera, lens and tripod and took a number of pictures.  The Lapwing mainly stayed out in the field, looking around and eating, until a pair of Harriers came over and caused the bird to fly around, but he returned to the same location that the Lapwing was originally, when the birds left.  He was also harassed by a Red-tailed Hawk and flew further down the the field, but again returned to its original location, giving everybody a good view of this bird.
Hopefully, this bird will stay around for a period of time and allow other people to come and view it.  Fuller Street runs from route 105 in Middleborough to East and South Street in Halifax.  The fields that the Lapwing was seen in is just prior to Wood Street.
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)