Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Plover Diary


This morning
after breakfast
it was time to check
on the Plover status...

Beloved left with the binoculars
while I wrestled with my
ankle brace
and stuffed the fat and wrapped foot
into my sports shoe

Before I had achieved
this challenging task
Beloved returned
with a smile on his face
and refused to answer any questions
So off we went...

Two baby chicks
are now at the nest
one in front
and one behind the sitter

when I returned from the gym
I noticed parent # 1
preparing to cross the road
looking both left and right
as any careful road crosser should...

I stopped
and watched him enter
a spare block
to hunt for lunch

and then I had a brilliant idea...

I drove my car
into the park access
and noticed that the parent # 2
sitting on the nest took
little notice
so I slowly made my way closer
see how fat and fluffed out she is
to cover her little brood

slowly I circled around her
lowered the window
and snapped like crazy

At times
she readjusted her position
allowing me to glimpse
on either side
a baby chick

Now remember what I told you
don't go too far
I can't come and get you
I've still got work here to do

Ok Mum
I'm just looking

perhaps a little walk
might be fun

are you coming

not yet brother

I'll just stick around here
after all

After my physio session
I returned to the park
in my car
and saw that the plovers
were having trouble
with the magpies who were swooping
on both the chicks
and parents

there are now THREE chicks
being cajoled and corralled
by the parents

Pliny the elder

Pythagoras and Plato

So what had happened to the fourth egg -
the nest was now unattended
As I drove slowly by
I spied a newly hatched chick
resting in the sun

I think it is Periwinkle Plover

up ran a watchful parent

who fluffed her wings
and chest feathers
squatted over Periwinkle
and took her into care

Because I am unable
to get a close image of the chicks
(I am waiting on my new Canon)
I have sourced one from Wikipedia
for you to view

It must have been very cramped
in that little egg
for a chick of this size
with such long legs...



  1. I had never heard of Plovers before coming to NZ. Noisy aren't they?

    Hope your foot/ankle is feeling better.

  2. Hi Delwyn:

    Those parents have quite a job ahead of them, protecting those 4 sweet chicks. Amazing when the parent fluffs out its feathers to enfold the babies, he/she looks like an entirely different bird.

    I like the shot of the parents coralling the little ones and the shot of the little one trying its legs - you can already see the markings just like the parent.

    It's a real privilege to see these pictures that you took in real time.

    Is that field used by children to play soccer or other games? Perhaps all the human parents in the neighbourhood will keep them away temporarily out respect for these two new parent birds.

    Thanks again, Delwyn.

  3. me again - I keep meaning to ask you what kind of camera you are awaiting?

    I just got a Canon SX200IS. I was talked into it by my husband and the sales person and I kind of regret not getting an SLR. It is a fantastic little camera mind you - but . . . I'm still thinking an SLR would have been more up my alley.

    Would love to hear what you chose and why.

  4. Hi Yvonne

    They make a lot of noise if you are in their territory. I loud squawking call to call the partner to help ... and to call the chicks back to safety...

    I can't remember them in NZ.

    Happy days

  5. Hi there Bonnie

    The parents seem to be having trouble watching over all the chicks...and I have some sad news...but I'll tell you about it tomorrow...

    20 years ago the park was full of kids but all the kids grew up, families moved on and now we are a street of older people and holiday rental homes...so the park was only used by me with Kealia and a couple of other dog owners...

    Today the plover family moved to a small vacant block a few doors down from me where I think they will be safer...

    I looked for your email but couldn't find an address so if you want to email me delwyntatton@hotmail.com we can have a chat about cameras...

    Happy days

  6. This is fascinating. Thanks for documenting and sharing these wonderful moments.

  7. hi delwyn, i'll echo something of waht bonnie asaid about it being such a privilege to watch this plover family emerge in real time. i can't imagine what it must be like to suddenly be responsible for four little chicks each with their own plans to learn how to run and see the world and likely very little clue about how dangerous it is. after all, they are automatically registered on the food chain. i'm glad that your ongoing reemergence into the land of the walking coninues delwyn. we all benefit!!!! have a sweet day. steven

  8. Plover perfection! How wonderful for the classic plover family and for you as well.

    I love their long legs. We used to watch them running back and forth, in and out of the waves at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

    My very best to the plover family and to you, too, as you get back to using your foot.

  9. It was wonderful to see those plover eggs, now the little ones hatched out, lets hope they will survive the real world, the magpies can be nasty. Great story so far.

  10. Seeing the baby plover chicks curled up tight in their shells, they appeared so big...now in the open field and running loose they appear so small...and with no protective cover, other than their parents...hope they are safer now...I dread what you are going to tell us...

  11. What a happy ending to the plover family story! I still think it's amazing they do all this on the ground in the middle of a field in broad daylight--but they are making it work! I like how the baby gets named Periwinkle! I hope they all survive unscathed--the parents have been so watchful and caring. Delwyn, I didn't realize your foot was still swelling so much--take care! LOVE xxox

  12. Thanks for updating the story on our plovers. I'll bet the parents are unaware of their world-wide fame. Our collective wishes for their well-being ought to help Mom and Dad keep the magpies at bay.

  13. A beautiful set of pictures. I hope they make it. I think they are very good parents but nested in the wrong place.

    Thanks for helping me to make history.
    Pick a Peck of Pixels

  14. It's amazing that the eggs even survived in the middle of that field, much less hatched! I love their new names. You are so creative and caring, Delwyn. BTW, I'd never even heard of a Plover until you enlightened us all. Thank you! Blessings!

  15. I just love birds, so I enjoyed this very much! We don't have Plovers here...very neat to see them with their nest and protecting their young. Love the names you gave them, too! :)

  16. Hi Lynne

    I'm glad you have come to see the plovers

    Happy days

  17. Gidday Steven

    Fortunately this park is just a hop step and a jump from home. Our street is a circle on a reclaimed mangrove island, surrounded by water. The developers placed a large park in the middle of the circle which was great when all the children in the area were small...all kids have now flown the coop (keeping the metaphors appropriate today) so the park is only used by dog owners and the occasional hoon to do a wheelie...

    Happy days

  18. Good morning Reya

    Kealia had a hard time with the plovers at this time of year in times past... a dog still needs to chase balls...we would take the other end of the park when it was occupied by the plover family but woe be told when the ball strayed into their territory...

    Yes these plovers are like the pied stilts and the wading birds...

    Happy days

  19. Hi Ann

    the plover eggs were about the size of a desert spoon - not that big. It amazed me that such a lanky bird came out of that little space...
    I will keep the updates coming...though you might need to brace yourself...

    Happy days

  20. Good morning Wanda

    They are tiny balls of fluff on toothpick legs...Since they moved home I hope they will be safer...I am going to do the first check of the day now...
    Each of my posts is a day behind so things are moving along... tonight I will give you yesterday's update, and maybe even tag todays along with it too...

    Keep your fingers crossed...

    Happy days

  21. Hello Margaret my friend

    The story is still unfolding, and some is tearful...prepare for sad news...

    The parents are doing an excellent job and the move yesterday was a good idea of theirs. I hope they stayed put...but they are great wanderers walking all around the island here on the streets...

    The ankle is fat from the strapping of the brace that I wear when outside the house for extra support and safety. That makes it a struggle to get the foot into the shoe...

    I am off the the National park now for my first forest/sea mini walk on an even flat surface...out to The Boiling Pot and maybe even Tea Tree bay. It does still hurt so I walk very slowly... I'll see how far I get in an hour...

    Happy days

  22. Hi Dan

    Yes I won't tell them it might go to their heads and they will become even more stroppy...

    Thanks for checking in

    Happy days

  23. Hello Abe

    Plovers always nest is open areas like this pair...must be something to do with defending the young....and their swooping tactics...

    Happy days

  24. Hi Marion

    well then I am really pleased that I have brought you these stories ...more to come today in the plover diaries...
    have a great day...I am off for a walk...yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Happy days

  25. Hi Betsy

    I was thinking of calling baby Persephone but thought that might doom her ...so settled for Periwinkle - a bit more frivolous...

    I am glad that you too have been introduced to the mighty aussie plover.....

    Happy days

  26. It's fun to hear the updated story. Since you first mentioned the plover's nest, the shallow indentation on a regularly mown lawn, I wondered what had happend, and if they can raise chicks in such an open area.

  27. Hi there Jennifer

    it's good to see you again.

    I've just prepared tonight's installment covering the next two days which gets us up to date with their progress... Enjoy the Plover diaries...

    Happy Days

  28. I enjoyed your Plover diaries very much!! What cute chiks! The parent birds look very attentive to their babies!! Thank you for sharing!

  29. Hello Saphire

    the parents are doing their best but unfortunately they can't be everywhere at once...

    Aren't the chicks cute, but they too have the yellow spur on their wings...You can see it on the hatching chick photo...

    Happy days

  30. Oh Delwyn, what a good showing! You've done and excellent job of documenting the emergence of this little family. From some of your comments I fear all is not going so well with the little family.
    By the way, I love the names you've chosen for each chick!


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