Generic filters


What am I?

The Lapwing is a very distinctive crested bird from the plover family. They are often seen feeding on fields and in mixed flocks with golden plovers and black headed gulls. West European lowland birds are largely residential and are joined in autumn and spring by flocks of birds migrating to and from North Africa and India and parts of China. Lapwing feed mostly on insects and small invertebrates in a typical plover run and peck style Photo Credit: John Parish. 

How to spot them

Lapwings are easy to identify as both males and females have a iridescent colour and both have a crest but the plumage stays the same all year round. They are more heavy set than other plovers and are very eye catching in flight with large black rounded wings and a bat like flapping style to which they owe their name. They look black and white in flight but show a purple and green sheen when caught by sunlight, a unique effect among British birds.  

Where to see them

Lapwing can be seen all along the Essex coast. Big flocks are often present in Steeple Bay and on Wallasea Island, the Strood, Abberton Reservoir, Rainham and Old Hall Marshes, and around Maldon.

Conservation status

The lapwing is a red listed species in the UK  

Did you know?

The Lapwing Act of 1926 was introduced to protect these birds from a decline caused by large scale egg collections for food. Another decline followed in the 1940s due to conversion of grasslands to arable farming and the use of agrochemicals in the 1980s which made it impossible for lapwings to nest in the month of April. these declines could be halted with sympathetic farming methods such as creating a mosaic of spring sown crops and grassland, managing grazing pressure and maintaining damp areas 


Photo Credit: John Parish