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Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius   - Flock
Sociable Lapwing
Photographer : © Jugal Tiwari
Location :Kutch, Gujarat, India
Date : February 2010
English synonyms:Sociable Plover
Bird Family :Charadriinae - Plovers, Dotterels & Lapwings
Bird Group :CICONIIFORMES
Red Data Status :Critically Endangered
Remarks :Field Notes on Sociable Plovers seen in Kutch:
30 Sociable Plover Vanellus gregariousseen in Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India 17th November 2008 at 1300 hrs. The habitat was a fallow field, near the salt-encrusted areas with lots of Cressa cretica vegetation. The birds were quite confiding. They were seen close to areas where some labourers were working. This is first time I have seen this species in the Great Rann.

On 16th December 2009 a total of 57 Sociable Plovers were seen in one area and on the same day about 6km away near Chhari-Dhand 3 more were seen. So a total of 60 Sociable Plovers were seen by me in Kutch. These birds stayed till 15th February 2010. RSPB Scientist Peter Ekers visited the site with me and observed the flock.

They feed in open grassland with Cressa cretica dominated short halophyte vegetation. Roosting is on the ground. They may venture for feeding in Suaeda fruticosa bushes or scanty Prosopis juliflora areas with Suaeda and Cressa growing nearby. Night roost is in open areas of Banni and the Great Rann, similar to that of roosting grounds of Greater Short-toed Larks Calandrella brachydactyla. Feeding in the evening just before sunset (1830 hrs) was observed at its maximum when the flock of over 30 Sociable Plovers were seen actively chasing insects in the Suaeda, Cressa, Prosopis mixed area of Banni on the edge of the Great Rann of Kutch.
First seen 16th December 2009
Last seen 15th February 2010