Friday, June 4, 2010

Lapwings Etc.

I went to Lane Ends and Pilling Water for a walk this morning, still hoping to find and ring a Lapwing or two as well as check out my Redshank nest from last week. As I thought, the Redshank didn’t stand a chance with no sign of the nest or either of the adults in what was a hopeless situation for them a yard or two from the top of the sea wall with all its passing traffic of humans, sheep and Environment Agency vehicles.

Near the entrance to Lane Ends I spotted the pair of Grey Partridge that have been in the area for some weeks now almost incongruous in the bare fields overgrazed by the numerous sheep. The plantation was pretty quiet, with both the Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler of recent weeks seemingly absent. Still singing were 3 Willow Warblers and the ever present Reed Bunting, giving out that monotonous but highly distinctive song from the overgrown ditch below the car park. On the pools I counted 7 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebe with 2 Oystercatcher flying in to perch briefly on the fence posts and a Grey Heron that flew off squawking loudly when I appeared. From the top of the sea wall I watched a party of Long-tailed Tits containing recently fledged young move through the tree tops as they called to each other constantly.

Reed Bunting

Grey Heron

I passed the spot where the Redshank used to be where just a little further on I walked into the territory of the Meadow Pipit pair. The male was on the mandatory fence post sending out a quiet tinkling warning call to the female sat somewhere close, but they weren’t collecting food just yet. At Pilling Water I was surprised to find 5 drake Teal, that flew off and around on my arrival, but landed back on the water. I supposed they could be failed or non breeders returning to a familiar autumn and winter haunt.

Meadow Pipit


Out on the marsh I realised there were quite a lot of Lapwings, certainly upwards of 60, scattered to the left, right and further out towards the sands. It is a familiar sight enough once June is under way, and these Lapwings comprise all of the failed and non breeding local birds of the year together with the small numbers of young produced.

Up towards Fluke Hall warning cries of an overhead Lapwing told me that there were young birds close by, in fact probably within catching distance if I was quick. Finding crouching, motionless, cryptic Lapwing chicks is never easy, but I located and ringed 2 chicks, my first and possibly last of the year at Pilling.


Lapwing Chick

Lapwing Chicks

Even further on I studied two more well grown chicks; sometimes they fly, sometimes they don't, and just crouch hoping their plumage will hide them against the background. If they stay put it’s another ring fitted and more information gained on the declining Lapwing. Well if they are "fliers" it's too bad, you can’t win them all.

A Juvenile Lapwing

A Lapwing “Flier”

And talking of overgrazing, these sheep did well munching this grass to such a fine finish. But sometimes all is not as it seems!


Paco Sales said...

La segunda foto es preciosa, pudistes hacerla con todo el reflejo del ave en el agua?, si es así, tiene que ser fantastica. Un saludo

Unravel said...

Wow Love the lapwing chicks!
60 lapwings...that's an impressive number. It's pretty scarce here where I live. I've only seen a flock of around 10-20 birds.

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