Monday, June 9, 2008

Urban wildlife- survival instincts of lapwings

The red wattled lapwing is a regular visitor to our neighbourhood park. So I was thrilled to see three spotted eggs on the ground on 5th June. The eggs were laid in the centre of the Park which sees morning walkers doing their rounds every day (who would not notice the eggs anyway) and young children playing football and cricket in the evenings. To protect the eggs the bird had laid the eggs underneath a tree-guard.

Today morning (9th June), I went to check on the eggs. There was no one in the Park. But I was delighted to see two small chicks with their mother. The mother noticed me as I was still at the gate and started alarm calls. The pitch went higher and higher as I tried to go close. The chicks scampered in one direction while the mother went in another. Soon the father lapwing appeared on the scene and started shrieking. Then, an amazing thing happened. The chicks suddenly disappeared in the grass and made themselves invisible. Almost simultaneously, sparrows and Indian robins started flying around the area even as the parent lapwings held on to their spots. I was mesmerised by this amazing act of community feeling!

Needless to say I had to return without a photo. I could not help but feel moved enough to write this blog!