Friday, June 22, 2012
This family of newly-hatched lapwing chicks was foraging on moorland near the village of Woodland in Teesdale a couple of days ago. Lapwings normally nest in April and have fledglings that would be ready to fly by now. Maybe something destroyed these parents' first nest, or perhaps the bad weather in Spring meant that they needed to try again. Lapwings normally only raise a single brood.
Like many waders, lapwing chicks are mobile from the minute they hatch - little bundles of fluff on outsized legs and feet. Beautifully camouflaged too, as they foraged across this pile of grit and rubble beside the road. When they're not moving they are very hard to spot, although the alarm calls of an anxious parent let you know they're around somewhere.
Here's a more typical fledgling for this time of year, from an April brood, foraging on the same day for insects and worms in a very boggy corner of a pasture near Mickleton in Teesdale, which it was sharing with this...
.... magnificent beast.