White-tailed Plover - Vanellus leucurus

On Saturday 21 February 1998, Martien Roos discovered a strange wader with long yellow legs in a artificial mudflat at Assendelft, Noord-Holland. He warned other birders, who confirmed his incredible discovery, a White-tailed Plover Vanellus leucurus or White-tailed Lapwing. The bird was feeding in a sandy area, used to build houses on. The bird was seen till at least 7 March, but the area is restricted on weekdays. Although extremely out of season, the theory goes this bird has strayed to Europe last summer and had overwintered somewhere in southern Europe and was now on his way north (cf Birding World 11 (2): 49-50, 1998 and Dutch Birding 20 (1): 56, 1998).
February 1998, Assendelft NH; © René Pop.
February 1998, Assendelft NH; © René Pop.
23 February 1998, Assendelft NH; © Arnoud van den Berg.

This was the fourth record in the Netherlands, but the first to be twitchable. The first record was a bird at on Texel from 9 July till 12 July 1975 (cf Limosa 50: 207-210, 1976); the second a surpressed sighting at Klazienaveen (Drenthe) from 10 June till 15 June 1984 (cf Dutch Birding 7 (3): 98-99, 1985) and the third (also surpressed but not on purpose) a bird at the Abtskolk, Petten (Noord-Holland) from 10 July till 16 July 1984 (cf Limosa 58 (1): 33, 1985).

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