Shorebird survey for the Breeding Shorebird Atlas

A clutch of Northern Lapwing with 4 eggs on a pretty arid agricultural field. © Gyorgy Szimuly

What else I could do on a glorious day like this? The best is doing the nesting shorebird survey as the season is full on. Earlier this year an ambitious and exciting new program was launched to map breeding shorebirds worldwide. The program is still in its pivot year but the response from participants the Breeding Shorebird Atlas, run by the Shorebird Conservation Society, seems to be good.

Stunning males guarded the incubating females and chased avay overflying Carrion Crows. © Gyorgy Szimuly

In the neighbourhood of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, I surveyed several 1×1 km UTM grids this morning and early afternoon, covering a 19.2 km track on foot. Based on the previous year’s observation, I checked two suspected territories of Northern Lapwing. Several weeks ago I visited the same site where two pairs already defended territories from the rather abundant local Carrion Crows. As the methodology of the survey is very simple and it’s restricted only to a few shorebird species locally, it is very easy to take part of this important program.

Remains of the last year’s harvested crop was used as the base of the nest. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Beautifully positioned Northern Lapwing eggs. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Landscape view from the nest as the incubating adult sees it. © Gyorgy Szimuly

From the surrounding hedges a first of the year Lesser Whitethroat was heard singing. Such a delight after a long and grey winter.

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