Buff-rump in a Red-wattled Lapwing

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Appreciate any opinions on this.

I observed a Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) on 27th August 2021 at the wetlands location at Malim Nawar, Perak, Malaysia.

Above is the image of the bird landing and showing the flight feathers and black subterminal tail bar. Note the odd rump colour which is buff. The rump is usually described as white. I have no images of the front or side of the bird and from memory I thought it was an adult.

We usually do not get a good views of the rump for Red-wattled Lapwings, so I looked through all my older images of these birds. The majority of birds I have imaged in the past in flight have a white rump (see above).

However on 10th October 2019, again at Malim Nawar Wetlands, I have a record of a bird with a buff rump (see above); otherwise looking like an adult.

Juveniles are known to have buff-fringed upper parts (Wells 1999). I wonder if this is a late feature of juvenile to adult transition? I have no images of the rump of juvenile birds. An online search showed one juvenile with a white rump.

Is this buff rump some aberrant feature?

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia



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