Daily Archives: December 19, 2017

Northern Lapwing, Portugal

By far the most visible, if not the most common (which it may be), bird in southern Portugal during the winter is the Northern Lapwing. It is a large plover with lots of attitude, flashy attire, and an outrageous plumes. It breeds all across the northern reaches of Scandinavia and adjacent Russia, is a permanent resident as far south as southern England, Northern France, and parts of Spain, and winters in huge numbers in southern Portugal. You see Lapwings in the Tagus Estuary and other wetlands inland in flocks of several hundred (and I am told much larger flocks later in the season), and you see them scattered in ones and twos in almost any agricultural field throughout the region. If fact it seem as though there is practically no view you could take of the Portuguese countryside in winter which would not include at least one Lapwing. You stop looking after a while, but that is a mistake. It is indeed an impressive bird, especially at close range, where iridescence lights up the plumage and those plumes just shout! Even in flight, especially in flocks, the strong white wings flashing is very impressive. This bird was in the rice fields of the Tagus Estuary, across the river from Lisbon. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. 1/800th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Photoshop Express.