This bird may have a tuft on the top of his/her head. Apart from that I have no idea. Any help would be great please
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Im not so sure, it was much bigger and the feathers covered the tops of the legs (like plus fours). It wasn't that much smaller than the Shelduck I was photographing at the time.
I'm afraid there is nothing else this could be, it is a lapwing.
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I'm going to have to get myself a better book. The one im using states that a Lapwing is smaller than a pigeon, and this bird was so much bigger. Does anyone have any recommendations please.
About 30cm, so similar to a pigeon or dove, but definitely smaller than the shelduck. Maybe it was an especially large lapwing / small shelduck, or possibly perspective depending on how far away they were? I find the Collins Nature Guide a very good starting point, although you have to be wary that only photos of breeding plumage are shown usually, but I think this applies to most guides.
OU Student BSc Natural Sciences
There is a book I use with beginners/intermediates which is excellent. It is by John Gooders and has appeared in many different guises over the years; Kingfisher Publishers, Larousse and Hamlyn are the three I'm aware of. Unfortunately all three are now out of print. The good news is you can second-hand copies on Amazon for 1p plus postage.
The reason I recommend it is that only British birds are covered and the illustrations are very clear. He even shows gulls in various plumages, and where relevant, in flight.
The Hamlyn guide is standard paperback book size, the Kingfisher version is slightly longer but still fits into a large coat pocket (it has the largest pictures) and the Larousse is small enough to fit into your trouser pocket - it may be small but the pictures are still larger than in the Collins guide (illustrations rather than photo guide) used by most experts. For such small books he packs a tremendous amount of information in. I have 10 copies of the Larousse version for use with school kids and adult groups alike.
Good luck finding the right book for you.
I think all birdwatchers will agree that judging size in the field is difficult. this peewit.sorry.lapwing isn't helping by stretching right up as tall as it can. Sometimes it pays to ignore size if everything else fits.
I am going to purchase the collins bird book and the John Gooders book recommended by Graham, though so far with the observations I have made, I have found ispot (or the people using ispot)an amazing font of information and knowledge and that, you cannot beat. Thank you.
Thanks for the compliment Sam. I'm sure I speak for all the users of iSpot when I say we are glad to help.
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