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Grey-headed Lapwing

Grey-headed Lapwing

Not really an Australian bird at all, and thus peripheral to my interests, but worth looking at just the same. This is the famous Grey-Headed Lapwing that turned up at Burren Junction and had birdos coming to see it from as far away as Perth. It is a northern hemisphere bird that breeds in Japan and Siberia, and spends the northern winter in South-east Asia. This individual apparently turned right instead of left somewhere around Vietnam and wound up in outback New South Wales: it is the only one ever known to have visited Australia.

I’m not a ticking and listing sort of birdwatcher — I’d rather get first-class pictures of a Galah than tick off a stray rarity from the other side of the world that doesn’t really have anything to do with the way this continent works — so how did I wind up joining in the rush to see the lapwing? I got a phone call from Neil Macumber: having heard about the lapwing, Neil rang up all his mates looking for someone silly enough to drive several thousand kilometres just to see one bird. When he ran out of mates to ring, he tried me. I found the prospect of the lapwing only mildly interesting, but any excuse to spend a week in the back blocks of NSW looking for birds is a good one, and so off we went.