27 December 2006

Lapwings — Vanneaux huppés

Out near Orbigny this time of year, the fields are full of birds called lapwings. Their most distinctive feature is their long wispy crest. Their colors catch the eye too — their plumage is partly an iridescent greenish-black, with large white areas on the breast and tail. Lapwings are members of the plover family (Lat. Vanellus vanellus; Fr. Vanneau huppé).

A lapwing in a field near Orbigny in Touraine

Lapwings, like most birds, are hard to photograph. The other day, when I was near Orbigny, about 10 miles south of Saint-Aignan, I stopped the car on a little narrow road when I saw the birds in a field. They of course scattered as soon as I got out of the car.

[Click on the picture to see it full-size.]

But I was patient and waited for them to come back and settle down. I got a few decent pictures with my long zoom-lens Canon camera. The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe says lapwings are "gregarious, often in huge straggling flocks in winter." That's what I observed too.

Interesting how the house in the background is below the crest of the hill...

1 comment:

  1. C'est un très bel oiseau que je ne connaissais pas et n'avais jamais vu ! Merci de me l'avoir fait découvrir :-) Décidément, la Touraine est un pays de cocagne :-) Bises. Marie pour qui il est l'heure de dormir...


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