Have you seen this bird?

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, adult, male in breeding habitat, Northumberland, May
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, adult, male in breeding habitat, Northumberland, May

ANGUS birdwatchers are being called to arms by the RSPB this month in the search for some charismatic flappers.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Scotland) is appealing for information on the best places to find lapwings and other wading birds in the region.

This information will form a vital part of the society’s work to build up a picture of the state of some of Britain’s best-loved farmland birds, including the oystercatcher, snipe, redshank and curlew.

As a result of last year’s efforts over 70 breeding areas were identified and visited by RSPB staff in the spring, and their findings will be published in the winter.

Conservation officer for Tayside and Fife, Karen Cunningham said: “Traditionally, Perthshire and Angus have held large numbers of wading birds. A survey of breeding waders carried out by the RSPB in 1992 across the lowlands of Scotland found the highest densities of lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank in Tayside compared to other regions on the Scottish mainland. Twenty years later, RSPB Scotland wants to find out if this is still the case and have launched the Tayside Wader Survey to help discover whether they are still breeding in the same places and in the same numbers.”

Figures released recently by the British Trust for Ornithology show that nationally lapwing, snipe, oystercatcher and curlew numbers have fallen sharply. RSPB Scotland want to find out if local wader populations have followed this national trend. Karen continued: “We hope that gathering this information will assist with conservation work on the ground, including providing advice to farmers and land managers on habitat management in important areas and to help target agri-environment applications.”

If you have seen any of the above mentioned birds during the spring and summer months, please email details of the date, location, numbers, species and any other useful information to taysidewaders@rspb.org.uk or call the RSPB Perth Office on 01738 630783.