26 November 2015

Large flock of Sociable Lapwing near Tabuk – Bird records by Viv Wilson

Viv Wilson photographed a flock of 46 Sociable Lapwing near Tabuk 20 November, this being the largest flock seen in the Kingdom for many years. Some photographs of the flock are shown below as Viv has kindly allowed me to use it on my website. Sociable Lapwing is listed as Critically Endangered because its population has undergone a very rapid reduction, for reasons that are poorly understood. This decline is projected to continue and increase in the future. Fieldwork in Kazakhstan (and counts in Turkey and the Middle East) has shown the population to be substantially larger than previously feared, but recent demographic studies have found low adult survival, possibly largely driven by hunting pressure along the migration routes and wintering grounds. Important wintering areas have been identified in Saudi Arabia in the northwest and southwest of the Kingdom from satellite tracked birds. Birdwatchers have also added data with some relatively large flocks of 30 birds seen in recent years in both the wintering areas.