Plenty of flopwing around Old Moor today… No? How about ‘peewit’? ‘Green plover’? – Oh alright, ‘lapwing’ if you must. And among them one that caught everyone’s eye. But first the summary….

John Seeviour’s report from Bolton Ings today included: two mute swan, sixteen mallard, four gadwall, four tufted duck, six pochard, two male goldeneye, ten goosander, ten cormorant, one grey heron, four common gull, two herring gull, a green woodpecker and 363 coot! Thanks John.

And now, back to that odd lapwing. On one of the small islands in front of the Wath Ings hide, watchers were puzzled today by what looked like a ‘faded’ lapwing. The bird in question is shown below alongside more familiar-looking birds.

The pale lapwing (centre) from Ian Morris. Thanks Ian.

Everything else about the lapwing looked typical including leg, eye and beak colour. It was just that the colours of the wings and around the head looked several shades lighter than its neighbours.

Not a trick of the light (or of photography) but an unusual genetic condition. Look at birds long enough and you’re bound to come across the idea of ‘leucism’ – a condition where there’s a partial loss of pigmentation resulting in white, pale or patchy colouration. And that’s almost certainly what’s happening here.

So, on your next visit to Wath Ings, keep an eye on those lapwings and see if you can add a ‘pale plover’ to your list of species seen.

Until next time.

Anonymous