Monday, 10 May 2010

A special surprise

We were strolling through a field on the way to a beach and some birds began to fly around us, making loud cries.  We had our new voice recorder with us and recorded the bird calls for our collection.

We identified the birds as lapwings and here is a photo of one of them (There were 4) flying above us. Notice the long feather at the back of the head.

This is a photo of one of them on the ground.  See the colours on the wing and the lovely long head feather.

With all the cries, we realised they must be trying to distract us and assumed that there must be eggs in the vicinity as it was a big field.  We were walking along a faint pathway but walked with caution, keeping a good eye out for the eggs.  Suddenly my husband called"carefully, here it is here it is".

I looked and looked, and so did the kids and he called for us that it was right in front of us.  Still we could see nothing, well except for a lot of cow dung.  Then all of a sudden I saw a tiny bright black eye flicker on a pile of cow dung and that was it, eyes focussed in on it and I realised how cleverly this little baby bird was with its camouflage.  It was virtually totally still and crouched down in the grass it was invisible to the eye as a bird!  Amazing.

We carefully took a photo from a distance with the 300 zoom lens and then moved back.  No longer feel threatened the little chick stood up and took off at a fast speed - you could not believe how fast it ran off, following the instructions of its parents.

We realised their cries had not only been to distract us but also to warn the chick to stay still.  Then one of our girls noticed another wee chick running full blast in another direction.

How they managed to survive in a field full of cattle I have no idea.

A few steps later my daughter found the newly hatched egg, still wet inside.  It was so amazing to see.  It must have just hatched and was equipped to run so fast just after birth and also that instinct or ability to crouch down and hide. WOW!

Here is the egg that my daughter found!

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