Little Visit Off the Couch: Hot off the Press

Now into the third week of a six week isolation lockdown, it’s been very challenging to find suitable images for the day to day lives of the birds we work with.
In spite of the “We’re all in this together”, mantra, the birds don’t seem to have taken it too heart much, and haven’t been lined up in the street outside waiting for me.
We also don’t have any real suitable birding areas to walk by in our 1 hour a day “exercise” allowance.

But there are quite a number of storm water run-off drains and basins, throughout the suburb and several of them are within easy walking, and two are directly on the way to the local supermarket.
Every year Masked Lapwings gather to use the various open paddocks, drains and basins to creche their young. One pair has always chosen the grass verge between a dual carriage way.  And try as the parents might, it always ends in disaster as the little tykes run about on the road.  Not much between a fully laden Mac truck at 80+ kph and a baby lapwing.

One enterprising pair have located into a paddock directly behind said supermarket and as they are well protected by a 3m high chain mesh fence, and sharing the location with two rather large goats, they seem fairly secure, and have two spritely young.

A second pair have taken advantage of an unused house block and the nest is almost dead-centre in the middle of the block. No access for me. 🙂

A third pair, are using a run off basin that is also used as a local scratch-match footy oval, soccer-field, dog walking and mountain bike area. However restrictions have given them pretty much run of the area, and on the couple of times I’ve visited early in the morning, they seem to have four young on the go.  Not easy to find, and I for one am not venturing out into the open field for a closer looksee.

A fourth pair, and subject of the blog. (Didn’t think I was going to get here did you!) have taken up ownership of an open storm water runoff drain.
EE located them the other morning, and I thought a trip by with my biggest shopping bag was in order.  They seem  to only have one that has survived. But it is doing quite well.  On my first visit, it spent most of the time running about on a disused concrete footpath above the drain as the surrounding grass verge was particularly thick and over grown.
But in the meantime, the council, bless their environmental cleanup hearts have moved into the drain with mowers and brush-cutters and turned it into a “V’ shaped version of a bowling green.

Look as we might we were unable to see if the little dude had survived or where the anxious parents might have relocated it.

However, all is well.  This morning on the milk run, I found it back in the same area and sprinting up and down the footpath.

So hot off the press.

Remain.

From the Global Headquarters of The Doona Hermit.

The day before the grass on the verge was over its head.
An adult that is ready to defend its prize.
Ready to run.
Still plenty of hiding spots on the far side of the footpath
Stepping into the sunshine
Get set. Go!

A tiny wing shake.

9 thoughts on “Little Visit Off the Couch: Hot off the Press

  1. Delightful as ever, David! Lovely shots, and good news that the baby survived the Council’s attentions.

    The good news is that we are now allowed to drive to a nearby park/reserve for exercise, as long as it’s within the 5 km zone. So you may be able to go for a walk a bit further afield if you wish.

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    1. Hi Eleanor, I always feel sorry for the lapwings when I find them nesting. They chose places that no doubt have an ‘historical’ dna sort of thing for them, but carparks, roads, and houses have upset that simple mindset.
      Still given they are in great numbers, it seems to work for them. I watched David Attenborough “The Egg” the other day. It shows both how perfect and how fragile it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely to see. And happy to know you have some of interest in the area. I have been thinking of checking the mound behind the fire station, they should have chicks there by now and may well do it now I can drive to the end of the street. Otherwise it is a 22 minute walk up, and 22 back – leaves me just 16 minutes to locate and photograph. Or can we get something newsworthy to happen there or Sneydes? Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G’day, now I can ‘drive’ I was thinking of a trip to Glen Orden on a good morning. Sneydes is just 100m outside of my 5km limit. Wouldn’t you know. 🙂
      I think there are many more around, my 30 mins out and back around here has shown about 7 pair in empty house blocks, pondages and the water basins.
      I also have a single bird at work on a ‘closed’ playground. Can’t imagine its just visiting, so there must be a nest. Don’t have time, nor inclination to look further.

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  3. What a delightful capture David, beautiful photos of the little dude. They certainly breed well amid the dangers of city life, despite some losses. We see Lapwings almost everywhere we go patrolling their turf. They are very protective of their young, and aggressive which is in their favour. When I was living in the country on my property years ago, they took possession of our back paddock and every time our little Foxy ran across the paddock he would be attacked, the poor little guy did not know what had hit him, as he ran for his life. I found the nest a few days later driving over it with my ride-on. The eggs were intact, as the little indent they lay them in was just enough to prevent them being crushed.They moved their family away, and were not seen again. 🙂

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    1. Ha, Great story Ashley, I bet every country kid has one like it. We had a Border CollieX and she would roam for hours along the channel banks with us kids. Until, the ‘plovers’ kicked off, and she’d be licketysplit for home tail twixt legs. Yet on other things she’d stand her ground.
      The paddocks and water run offs locally are such an attraction to the Lapwings, they move in to the most unusual places, but being in the suburbs, foxes, cats and dogs wreck havoc among their number. It’s the same for Black Swans that move into the local ponds. I would like to scare them off, but they never seem to take notice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s been quite a suspense to read and I’m glad it all ended well, which is nicely documented by your photos.
    I hope you’ll use your 5 km driving radius well. It doesn’t help me much though – Braeside is 11 km away…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Afternoon Adam my 5km drive gets me about 5km into the suburbs. In fact from our place to the area where the kites were nestings is exactely 5.3km (I’ve played with the idea of parking the car at 5km, and just strolling up the rest of the way. 🙂
    But, I don’t want to become one of those statistics on the news at night.
    Best we wait.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been hoping the kites are within the range. Things start looking a bit better finally, so you may be able to drive there soon.

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