Those Noisy Neighbours – A Plover Family Update


Out for a stroll with mum or dad.

Out for a stroll with mum or dad.

Have you been wondering what happened to the Plover family I wrote about some time ago? I had been too, after that very wet day I only saw the family one more time. A friend had told me that they had no road sense and that the attrition rate for the young chicks was very high. The last time I saw Mr & Mrs Plover they had the chicks down by the side of the road so I had grave fears for their survival. My friend also told me that plovers grieve if they lose their mates. For the next few weeks I only occasionally spotted a single plover on the grass or flying overhead so you can see why I was worried.

Plover (Masked Lapwing). They have no road sense.

Plover (Masked Lapwing). They have no road sense.

Well on Thursday afternoon I came home from the Op Shop to find six adult-sized plovers wandering around on the grass. Are they the same ones? I have no idea. I can’t tell one bird from another but I like to think that it is the same family with the chicks now grown. I wasn’t able to photograph them yesterday because they were startled by some cars that parked outside the power sub station and left until after dark but this morning their unpleasant sounding screeches informed me that they were back. I spotted five of them on the grass. It was raining and I was in my pajamas so I photographed them through the window again.

Plover (Masked Lapwing)

Plover (Masked Lapwing)

Plover (Masked Lapwing)

Plover (Masked Lapwing)

It could be my imagination but I think these two birds look young. Plover chicks fly at seven weeks or so and my original photos were taken early in October, two months ago so it is not impossible that they could be the same birds. When they arrived yesterday most of them were at the top of the slope looking down on the couple that were on the grass but this morning only one was up top keeping an eye on the rest.

Plover (Masked Lapwing) watching over the others.

Plover (Masked Lapwing) watching over the others.

Someone to watch over me.

Someone to watch over me.

I have cropped these photos quite a lot and again they were taken through glass so not the best quality. I used my 300mm lens on the automatic setting. If the weather allows and I can get near them, which should be easier now the chicks are grown, I will try to take some more.

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