Wednesday, 6 June 2007

First British White-tailed Lapwing for 23 years

The discovery of a White-tailed Lapwing at Caerlaverock WWT, Dumfries and Galloway, this morning marks the end of a long wait for British birders. The last to occur in Britain was as long ago as 1984, and despite increasing records in continental Europe in recent years and an extension of the breeding range into south-east Europe, the species has failed to appear here.

The Caerlaverock bird (pictured here by Brian Morrel) was discovered by Richard Hesketh on the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's showcase Scottish reserve. The first record for Scotland, it is sure to attract birders from across the UK as previous individuals have either been short-stayers or were suppressed because of access difficulties. Reserve staff have made special arrangements to keep the site open until 9pm this evening, and the bird was still on show at midday. Access is free for members, £4.40 for non-members. For details of how to get to Caerlaverock, see:

The previous British records were from Warwickshire (12-18 July 1975), Dorset (3 July 1979), Co Durham (21 May 1984) and, perhaps the same bird, Shropshire (24-25 May 1984).