Saturday, April 19, 2014

Show-offs

Spent some of this morning watching the exhilarating, death-defying aerobatics of courting lapwings, on Chapel fell in Weardale.


When the males are displaying to the females they hurl themselves around the sky with deep, powerful strokes of their broad wings, whose primary feathers make a distinctive humming sound as they're forced through the air. Then they tumble towards earth, twisting and turning until ....



































..... they pull out of their dive at the last possible moment, skimming the grass as they climb for another display, all the while producing their distinctive 'pee-wit' squeaky calls.





You can listen to the calls of lapwings by clicking here






4 comments:

  1. The last photo realy shows of the colour of the bird. I grew up thinking the Lapwing was actually called " Pee-wit" as that's what my dad calls them and still dose, mind you he calls me Jane, and it's Amanda ...!

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    1. Hi Amanda, They are called peewits in a lot of places - my grandmother used to call them that

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  2. Great captures Phil.
    Their displays are a joy to watch; and like you say, they really are 'show-offs'.

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    1. One of my favourite birds Keith - especially when they drag a wing and pretend to be injured, to lure you away from the young

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