Thanks, it is about time someone asked these questions.
We have had it called "Grey headed lapwing", "Grey headed Lapwing", "grey
headed lapwing" and even "Grey Headed Lapwing" on this line. Poor bird must be
terribly confused. The protocol of bird names is pretty simple. Thankfully some
correspondents have got it right. The name is "Grey-headed Lapwing". I also
assume it is Vanellus cinereus. Has anyone mentioned that?
According to a shorebirds book (Hayman, Marchant & Prater), it normally lives
in Asia and migration includes "south to Andaman Is., Malaysia, Philippines,
Borneo and Sulawesi".
I think it has been mentioned to be the first record of the species for
Australia. No doubt others will have more information.
As to how it got there, I have no idea, maybe it was caught in Asia and
smuggled in by someone from the Burren Junction tourism authority. It is indeed
strange that it should be found there, within inland SE Australia, rather than
somewhere like Christmas Island or the northern tips of the continent. I wish I
could afford to travel there. Is the bird especially exciting? I had not heard
of the species before this one was mentioned on this line, so I'm not actually
bursting to go see it. As I have said before, I'd rather see a Secretary-bird
in Africa than on the streets of Canberra.