Peewit, Lapwing, Green Plover, Vanellus vanellus , whatever you call them, they're in big population decline here in the UK. I'm a scientist, so here's a graph showing the data from BTO that proves it (y axis is a smoothed population index & green indicates 85% confidence limits). Adult Lapwing showing off gorgeous feather colours & a jaunty crest. Origins of the Lapwing name hail from Middle English lappewinke and lapwyngis , and back even earlier to the Old English hleapewince , all of which mean 'leap' and 'wince' or 'waver, move rapidly'. It's descriptive, as the Lapwing appear to make a big leap when they take to the air, and when on the ground they scuttle about quite rapidly. In that respect I'd hardly call them wavering, as I shall highlight below. However, when they're foraging they pause to listen, and patter on the mud using a foot, which increases their success rate in finding and catching invertebrates.