If you read my last blog you will know I have recently been following a few Lapwings whilst they have been sitting on their nests incubating their eggs. As I have followed these individuals I have got to know them quite well, learning their daily routines and witnessing their personalities. So let me introduce them!
The first I chose to monitor I named Lily. When I first spotted Lily I waited until she left her nest and decided to see if she was sitting on anything, I could not find a single egg so thought she might not have laid yet. It turned out that her eggs were so well camouflaged I still struggle to find them today, unless she is sitting on top of them! She is a very good mother, never leaves the nest for long and, if for whatever reason she has to leave, she will come back whether I am close by or not. She has, by far, been the easiest to watch being least bothered by my presence.
The second lapwing has a simple name, Muddy Eggs, for the very simple reason that she chose to nest in a boggy area so her eggs are always muddy. Creative, I know! She is certainly more wary and doesn’t like anyone around. She tends to fly off her nest as soon as I appear and because of this I have spent much less time watching her as I never want to risk her eggs getting too cold!
Next up, we have Rocky, again, for the simple reason she has nested on a very rocky area. This lapwing nested very close to a track so is more tolerant of a car being close to her which has meant she is easier to monitor.
The last two lapwings are Puddle and Wader. These two I never saw sitting on a nest and as it is very common for males to hang around to protect their females, I often thought they were males but as I have recently discovered, they both had nests I did not notice. Puddle surprised me first when I was driving across the track expecting her to fly away and she produced three tiny chicks from under her wings. I have to say seeing these birds sit for weeks through all weathers then produce the smallest, most fragile chicks is exhilarating. How any of them survive is nothing short of a miracle. They are literally a mouth to feed and legs to run.
Wader, who is always on the edge of a lake, also produced four chicks from under her wings on the same day. You may be wondering why I say under their wings. This is how many birds keep their chicks warm and shelter them from the wind and rain. Waders chicks seem very confident considering their tiny size, the freezing northerly wind and large lake they wander around next too.