Northern Lapwing in Maryland


A common species in Europe and Asia, there are occasional rare sightings of the Northern Lapwing along the east coast of the United States and Canada.

Two days ago I saw a fellow Maryland blogger’s post on his sighting of the Northern Lapwing in Maryland about a half hour from me, and I was out the door within the hour!  Thank you, BiologistSoup!  Not only for the great post and tip, but this also let me know my ebird alerts for Queen Anne’s County were disengaged….I fixed that right away too!  πŸ˜‰

Welcome to my bird lifer list #248 Northern Lapwing!  πŸ’ƒπŸ€—πŸ˜Š


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Northern Lapwing in center of circle, Snow Geese in the background (full frame)


For three days and continuing, the Northern Lapwing has been on private property on the far shoreline of the pond, seen only from the road.  It was a reach for my lens to focus from the shoulder; but I am still delighted and thankful!


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Northern Lapwing surrounded by Snow Geese feathers


Winter storms in the Atlantic have occasionally been associated with small influxes of Northern Lapwings in North America.  Wonder if this one arrived by storm?


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Northern Lapwing in flight


I got to see the Northern Lapwing take flight three times due to passing Eagles and Snow Geese disturbances.  After circling off in the background, it would return to the same muddy area of the pond and land.  Here’s my best two flight shots.


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Northern Lapwing in flight


The Lapwing’s disturbances were added awesome birding experiences and photo ops for us 3-4 cars still on the road’s shoulder.

Two adults and one juvenile Eagle made their appearances known with several fly-bys.  Thousands of Snow Geese also came in for a landing and began taking over the pond at one point (post forthcoming!).  The lone Northern Lapwing had to hide from sight in a clump of grasses, poor little one.  But s/he reappeared when the geese did another lift-off back out and away from the pond.  Those Eagles had everyone in a tizzy!


45 thoughts on “Northern Lapwing in Maryland

    • Thank you, Jane! I did hang around for a couple hours, so I’m not so much a twitcher. lol (A few people got their look then were talking where to go next. They be twitchers for sure!) I’m, of course, interested in increasing my lifer # if its not too far to go, less than an hour for sure, unless I’m going for the day, say a refuge or preserve. πŸ™‚ This private pond was an awesome magnet for a lot of bird activity that included thousands of Snow Geese (5 lift-offs!), three Eagles, few Tundra Swans, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Canada Geese, and a Northern Harrier. I have binoculars that see better than my 500mm so I enjoyed the relaxation of watching and photographing from my driver’s seat with the heat on here and there, sipping coffee from my Yeti. Hard to beat for all I experienced the couple hours there! 😊

  1. Those snow geese are quite a flock Donna, wondering if your Northern Lapwing nests out in an open field as our Masked Lapwing does and attacks everything that comes near. They are very noisy and can be aggressive birds over here ?

    • Thank you, Ashley! Wait til you see the size of the Snow Geese flock in one of my upcoming posts, more arrived, there were thousands! This Northern Lapwing seemed to be fearful with any of the birds, it was always off by itself staying in the mud on the shoreline, and would hide in a clump of grass growing there or take flight when the Snow Geese and Eagles flew around and over. I also never heard it call out. I wondered myself where it would go at night.

  2. How exciting– congrats, Donna! It is a wonder that you could spot the little guy from so far away. You have a great camera and skill to use it. ❀
    I often wonder if these lost birds know (or feel) how far they are from their home and if they will ever make it back?
    I love the idea of the eagles creating a tizzy! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you, Eliza! πŸ’ƒ I had to use my binoculars often to keep tabs on him. πŸ™‚ I wonder the same thoughts with lost birds. I also wonder how many lost birds we don’t know about in our vast forests and marshes who are surviving well in their new remote environment 🀞 , it’d be something cool to know, we might be surprised!

  3. Congratulations of the #248 life, Donna.. Great capture. We’re having very cold days here. I’m going to get a epidural shot to the spine on Friday. , πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, HJ! πŸ€—πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š We’re having the same cold days, it’s not been pleasant. Prayers for a successful procedure and recovery on Friday, take care of yourself!

    • Thank you, Tanja! πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š I was able to view it clearer through my binoculars; and when the sun shined, its iridescent green feathers on its back lit up. Very pretty!

    • Thank you, Barbara! πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š I hope it’s able to survive; who knows, it could find another lapwing and start a new life here! For sure, it has caused a lot of excitement, people are driving hours to come see it. I’m not that twitchy, lol, I need it within an hour and where lots of other birds might be seen. πŸ™‚

  4. Congratulations on the Northern Lapwing! Your photos are great. It’s always interesting to try and imagine how some birds get off course and land in your backyard. Good going!

  5. Pingback: Thousands of Snow & Ross’s Geese | Photos by Donna

    • Thank you, I was delighted I could find it with my binoculars to aim my lens for the ID score and personal count. πŸ™‚ Awesome on the Bat Falcon! I just looked it up, very handsome falcon. Wish you could send him my way!!

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