lovely lapwings

arial acrobatics

arial acrobatics

 

One of my favourite birds next to the Wren is the Lapwing.

 

with a beautiful clear blue sky backdrop

with a beautiful clear blue sky backdrop

 

Called peewits in the NE (& possibly elsewhere too) because of the sound they make, they are endlessly busy beauties that grace our skies with their amazing acrobatics.

 

endless activity in the sky

endless activity in the sky

 

They are graceful, athletic, full of character and have such lovely markings.

 

swooping down to the ground

swooping down to the ground

 

Their nesting habitat is easily ruined as they tend to nest in ground scrapes on flat farmland that is invariably ploughed, planted up and later harvested.

They are fierce defenders of their nest, eggs and youngsters; feigning a damaged wing if there is anyone or anything too close to the product of all their hard work and courtship.

 

IMG_0152

wading – is that a banksy?

I never get sick of watch and listening to them. I could do it for hours.

Advertisements

lapwings

baby lapwing hiding

One of my favourite birds is the lapwing.

They used to be in decline due to farming methods and the loss of wetlands where they wade for food. And although there are now conservation strips on farms, RSPB coastal reserves and untouched pasture in some of the upper dales that all help, they really need set aside and pasture that remains untouched for the whole of their breeding and nesting season.

It would be a great loss for their numbers to reduce even further.

lapwing chick hiding while mum and dad keep the baddies away

It has a sweet ‘peewit’ call (which is where it’s local name in the north east comes from – Peewit), an interesting style in the sky and it does some amazing things to save it’s young from predators.

breaking cover

They nest on the ground which leaves their broods more vulnerable than most; so in order to keep the attention away from their well disguised eggs and equally well disguised young, they fly around somewhere away from the area to attract attention away from the nest of eggs.

doing as mum tells him and going for cover

Even more impressive than this is the fact that they sham injury and flap around on the floor to drawer a predator to them and so allowing their young to make a getaway.

ever watchful

There are about 4 pairs that we see near us quite often at the moment and they are likely to have eggs in the nest and possibly young by now (the photos in this post were all taken near my dads last year) as they have their broods between april and june.They only start to look like adults into the autumn.

taking refuge under mum’s wing

They can also live up to 10 years which is remarkable for a relatively small bird.

So, they are good looking, got the moves like Jagger, are great parents and live to a ripe old age, what’s not to like?

.