Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Follower



I have noticed
a plover strolling
on the nature strip
a few times now

so I decided to follow him
I call him a plover
as he was once called
a Masked Plover
but his real name
is Masked Lapwing

I know
that he will lead me
into the park
in the middle
of our circular street

we turn in here
this is where
in the past
I would come daily

to hit tennis balls
to the dog
who is no more...

we pass the orange grevilleas

with glorious blooms

that the birds love
so much

and enter the large,
open playing field

You know what I am looking for right?
Now where would a plover pair
lay their eggs -
around the perimeter
in the long grass
under the trees
safe from dogs
and kids
and lawn mowers


Can you see it...

Slap bang
in the middle
of the park

just a small indentation -
like the plovers
at the lighting store
I took you to recently,
these plovers are not fussed
over making a nest
they'd rather find
a small dip in the ground
hardly even a hollow

to lay their eggs

four speckled beauties

I wonder how many of you
will survive gestation

Some thoughtful soul
has placed a stake
to warn walkers and mowers
of the new life

the parents are off foraging
not that interested in me
but come hatching time
they won't let me near the progeny

I have borrowed this image
from Michael Seyfert
at the Australian Museum

of a southern Lapwing -
he is bigger
and has darker markings
than the Northern speicies

I wanted to show you
his yellow wattle
the thorny spur on the wing
that you want to avoid
when you are watching
plover chicks

in past years
the chicks decrease in number
over the weeks

one lucky plover chick

I have just read
that the eggs
take 28 days to incubate
The plovers have been around
for a few weeks already...
so excuse me now,
I am just going to
put my ankle brace on
rush over to the park
and check on the nest status...

I will report back...

Post Script:

four eggs are still
sitting safely
it's not time yet...



  1. I find that so interesting that they locate their nest in such wide open spaces...most birds here go out of their way to tuck them out of view...up high, behind or under things...our wrens will use any conceivable item to build a nest in...even clothes hanging on a line or shoes left out...Will enjoy seeing them hatched.

  2. Hello Delwyn:

    Amazing the little miracles all around us, if we just take the time to notice.

    What a vulnerable position for those eggs! And when the little chicks hatch, they will just be easy prey for any kind of predator. Makes me think that those poor plovers are not the brightest bird on the block! Perhaps only the middle of road would be a more dangerous location for a nest and baby birds.

    As I wonder about the intelligence of plovers, I wonder if the animal kingdom watches we humans, and "tsk, tsks" at all our imbecilic actions?

    I guess the thought really trying to emerge for me here is, how amazing that with all our poor decisions and vulnerabilities, life continues. Speaks to the resilience of the life force.

    I'll be interested to hear your updates on the four vulnerable eggs.

  3. Now that Delwyn was a gift. I never once suspected that there would be eggs.

    Love Renee xoxo

  4. It's amazing that birds, who can fly and find what look like much safer places for their eggs, choose to nest on the wide open ground... I don't understand it.

    My fingers are crossed for your plovers. My flycatchers, who I built a nest tray for under my deck, had 4 eggs that hatched and the young fledged. I hear them in the forest around my house now. I love watching bird families grow.

  5. hello delwyn, i loved that walk, ending with a place of fragility and revealing your care for the vulnerable little eggs. having them in such an open space might make it easier for the mum and dad to see predators and also for people to see the nest. which seems upside down but that's all i can imagine. the orange grevilleas are very beautiful. boy, lots of australia today - my wife writes a journal to us each day. her latest was a vineyard trip into the hunter valley!! lucky her (and hopefully if she found some nice tasties - lucky me!!!) have a sweet day by the river. steven

  6. Oh how marvelous!!! And I love that someone "marked" the spot to protect their space. I hope and pray that they all hatch and survive!! Those eggs are beautiful!

  7. I enjoyed that little walk with you and to find the eggs in the middle of the park, fantastic.

  8. I hope the Plover family makes it and can safely fly away or walk.

  9. how lovely that you were able to follow the plover like that....yes lapwings and other plovers here also lay their eggs in indentations in flat land, though often hidden away in thick grass....

  10. Such knuckleheads, these plovers! There are tress a plenty with forks for nests--much safer! However, since they're on the ground, thank God the local community knows to put up markers. I love the orange grevilleas--what a striking color! I see the birds like them, too! Thanks, Delwyn LOVE xxox

  11. Hi Wanda

    There must be a reason - perhaps to keep an eye on they can swoop on them...perhaps because they are such walkers the young are vulnerable...they spend all their time walking around grassy areas picking out insects, the adults need room to swoop predators??

    Happy days

  12. Hello Bonnie

    I have come to the conclusion that they are in the grassy park because that is their habit - to forage in the grass, and they can see so acutely, they run rather than fly...

    You would have to think that what we see as stupid nature sees as intelligent adaptation...

    watch this space for updates...

    Happy days

  13. Hi Renee

    and I'll let you into a secret...something is happening...

    Happy days

  14. Hello there KB

    Well I will try to keep you updated on their progress. I only wish my new camera had arrived...

    Happy days

  15. Hi Steven

    Those orange grevilleas caught the afternoon sun like little flares in the trees...

    I'm glad that your wife is enjoying her time and seeing a bit of the area...

    Happy days

  16. Hi Sherry

    The park is used a lot by dog owners to exercise their doogies, so I hope they can survive. The parents take them out for jaunts around this circular street nibbling on all the nature strips and they criss cross the road...perhaps they get run over...and then we have the brahminy kites on the river the past one has lasted...sometimes none...Nature is beautiful and amazing and sad too...

    Happy days

  17. Hello Ann
    how nice to meet you and welcome to my corner of the subtropics...

    I will keep you updated with their development...

    I'll call by later for coffee, no make that tea please...

    Happy days

  18. Hi there Abe

    I will watch them more closely this year and plot their progress. The young take 4-5 months to grow fully so that leaves a lot of time for misadventure...we'll just hope...

    Happy days

  19. Hi Juliet

    how have you been...

    I wish they had that tendency here...they often lay their eggs in school fields then bombard the kids - predators to them, once the eggs have hatched.

    They come awfully close - I know - I have been dive bombed a number of times...and they are so quick, they dive not once but in quick succession before you have time to recover they are down on you again...Did you see those spurs...

    Happy days

  20. Hi Margaret

    I was going into the park in the late afternoon and the dropping sun caught those top grevillea flowers and lit them like flares...

    I can't wait to get my new camera now..I said to Beloved I want a little folding seat so I can go and park myself under those trees and shoot til my heart's content...

    I am going to bore you all to death in the future with birdie shots...

    Happy days

  21. Hi Delwyn,
    How exciting - I've never seen a Plover, let alone Plover eggs! I'll keep my fingers crossed that they stay safe and hatch. That grevilleas blossom is beautiful! What a quirky-looking tree. Hope your ankle is much better - seems you're walking farther.

  22. Hello Barb

    I've just returned from more physio and the foot is better every day thank you... I have it strapped when I go out of the house to give it extra support.

    The birds love all of the grevilleas. Most of our birds are nectar feeders. I wanted to have a bird feeder then realised that the birds here eat insects or sip on flowers. A gardener suggested a bird bath to attract the birds. I already have one - a big one - that is attracting the pool...

    Happy days

  23. This my first time to leave a comment. New in blogging, making many mistakes yet. But love blogging anyway.
    This is a wonderland to walk with you Delwyn! I am Blue Bird from America. A blog from me:


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