How many Eurasian Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria and Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus winter in Great Britain? Results from a large-scale survey in 2006/07


21 – 28

1 April 09

S. Gillings, R. J. Fuller

S. Gillings
British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, UK.


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In the winter of 2006/07, an attempt was made to produce new winter population estimates for Eurasian Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing in Great Britain using a combination of counts of important sites and an extensive sample survey. Each month from November to February, volunteer surveyors recorded the abundance of the two species at wetlands, known important terrestrial sites and a random sample of grid squares. Combining these sources, we estimate the number of golden plovers and lapwings wintering in Britain in 2006/07 peaked at 400,000 and 620,000 individuals, respectively. Comparison of these figures with earlier estimates is made but is hampered by uncertainty over the accuracy of previous estimates. These results are discussed in the light of possible golden plover winter range shifts and ongoing declines in lapwing breeding populations.