Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius). Castuera, La Serena Badajoz. 12-12-2011.By Jan Hill and Les Battle.

At the end of last winter, on 13 March 2011, a Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) was seen in Castuera, La Serena (Badajoz) by Rodney Smith. Nine months later, on 12 December 2011, another bird, who knows if the same individual, was again spotted in Castuera. The lucky birders on this occasion were Jan Hill and Les Battle. As usual it was seen in a flock of (Northern) Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus). This time there is a photo to hand, no prizewinner it's true but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. The bird was seen at kilometre point 77 of the 103 road to the north of Castuera (gravel track one k after white gates with the name "Hartosa año 1980"). Jan and Les tried to see it again the following day without success.

This is the fourth Extremadura record, all of them in Badajoz. The first two (2004 and 2008) have been officially accepted. The two 2011 sightings will have to wait in line for acceptance. An earlier blog post gives more details of the sightings in Extremadura and Spain of this bird, threatened on a worldwide level. Its IUCN conservation status is "Critically Endangered".