Anyone walking up behind Whimberry Wood lately will probably have seen the large flock of lapwings which have been wintering there.
These wonderfully aerobatic birds, members of the plover family, are evocative of our area preferring to nest on damp meadows where they forage for food (worms and insects), nest, and bring up their young.
Their numbers have declined lots over the last thirty years due to land drainage and a dearth of foodstuffs.
Round here I suspect they also lose many of their young and eggs to natural predators: foxes, badgers and crows (which have increased in numbers with the landfill sites).
When nesting they are particularly vocal with their drawn-out, rasping ‘peeewit’ calls which is sometimes heard at night when the birds are disturbed.
Like other plovers they pretend to be injured if their nest is approached by predators in an attempt to draw the danger away.
At this time of year the birds are pairing up…it’s a great time to watch their antics.