Wednesday, 16 June 2010

When to Give Up?

A new day dawned and all three of the Little Ringed Plovers running around yesterday evening were still doing so, a minor triumph in itself. However the last egg was still just an egg, now some twenty-two hours after the last of the three chicks had broken free. I was not able to look in during the morning but several people watched as events unfolded.

All morning the female kept returning to the egg, sitting for a time before being drawn away by the need to look after her three animated fluff-ball chicks. Eventually in the late morning and just about exactly twenty-four hours after the third egg had hatched, she gave in and left the last egg. It was evidently infertile, but her urge to hatch it was very strong and she was reluctant to give up.

By the end of the day all three chicks were still running about, so far the weather has been set fair and the family is deriving some "air cover" from being near the Lapwing pair with their one remaining chick. However the fact that, despite being very active at chasing off predators, these Lapwings have steadily lost their chicks, is a warning for what could be in store for our plovers. As well as these birds there is also another pair of Little Ringed Plovers with one chick about a week old just to the east of the hide and a family of younger Lapwing chicks a little further away again.

Apart from when doing a BTO Atlas visit that included the Linwood reserve first thing this morning I did not see much wildlife today. I spent a while collecting together the last of the materials for the rafts, we hope to have a go at making a few trial ones tomorrow, so more on these later. Once again thank you to people who brought in plastic bottles, I now have a fair few but could still do with loads more. I now have a "Bottle Bin" by the Centre door, in case anyone out there has any bottles to donate.

The rest of the day was spent in a range of tasks including path trimming and clearing a fallen tree along the Rockford path. I took a quick look at Rockford Lake as well and there were 76 Canada Geese and 3 Greylags, no doubt they will stay there to moult now. It is interesting how Rockford Lake attracts Canada Geese whilst most of the Greylags go to Ibsley Water to moult. I have had a couple of goes at counting the geese on Ibsley Water, but so far they have always been too spread out to see from any one point, suffice it to say there are something like 300 Greylags there as well as a good few Canadas and a Bar-headed Goose.

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