Plovers - Charadriidae

The plover species we get in the Touraine Loire Valley are those associated with fresh water or land feeding such as Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing and Golden Plover.

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus: a common but declining bird of farmland, easy to recognise because of its glossy green upper and black bib against white belly, and a wispy crest. It moves slowly on the ground and often stands still for extended periods. They feed on earthworms and other invertebrates close to the surface of the earth. Forms flocks in winter which can be quite large. Flies in a distinctive rather jerky, rolling way with very rounded wings. The call is a plaintive 'peewit'. The French name for them is le Vanneau huppé. They are present all year here, sometimes forming mixed flocks with Golden Plover (see post on Aigronne Valley Wildlife of the two species in flight together). This post on AVW shows you the difference between the two species. For photos of Lapwing in flight, see this post on AVW. Tim from AVW notes that we often get flocks of 1000+ birds here.
Lapwing feeding in a field of wheat in January.


  1. Look out, also, for small squadrons of Golden Plover with the "Peewits / Green Plover / Lapwings"...
    recognisable by the slightly smaller size and the sharp, pointed wing outline in flight.

    Golden Plover and Lapwing flight pix on Aigronne Valley Wildlife:

    Clear comparison between the two species here:

    Clear Lapwing flight shots here:

    We do get flocks of over 1000 birds around here in Touraine du Sud....
    and they make for a magnificent site when they are wheeling and rolling.

  2. Tim: thanks for this extra info. I've added your links to the post.