Lapwings - Watching & Learning

It’s well into May now and yesterday it was a nice late spring day so I decided to head down to Arundel to the WWT centre there to see what was happening.  Well. After driving round Arundel itself because there was a farmer’s Market underway in the town, I reached the centre to find it pleasantly quiet.  After walking round, I headed to one of the hides and to see what was happening.  The birds were not about in great abundance but the light was good so I spent a couple of hours watching.  There were quite a few lapwing around and better, some young out foraging.  The interesting observations were that: 

- The very young chicks were foraging at the waters edge but they were observed by adults at a short distance.  As soon as a crow / heron / egret approached, many adults immediately took to the wing and vigorously mobbed the intruder.  My guess is that the young are so well camoflaged thet the adults don’t need close protection and they are a little more effective a short distance away where they have a clear view.  

- Black headed gold do not seen to be much of an issue because they were not relentlessly harassed by the parents.  May be the chicks are too big for them ( a herring gull might be a real issue for the small chicks but they weren’t about).

-The lapwing chicks can swim. (I did not know that), I saw a couple cover at lease 25m of open water with the adults calling and the chicks calling back. I’m not aware that the adults will / can swim.  they seem to be happy remaining wading at the shoreline.  

Also seen were a kingfisher, a few (3) greenshanks and sand martins (outside the artificial nesting bank).