Thursday, 20 February 2014

Return of the Lapwing

Our first reports of returning lapwing came to us from Paul Parsons on the 10th February- complete with photo of the lapwing sitting on the island at the Northern wetlands, which was cleared of vegetation late last year in order to increase the suitability of the island for lapwing.

First reported lapwing of 2014, Paul Parsons
The lapwing, Vanellus vanellus, is in the plover family, which is known for its broad wings which are notable in flight and its amazing 'pee-wit' call. They breed in a variety of habitats, one of which is waterside meadows, such as the Lapwing field at Parc Slip. Over winter, lapwing are not seen at Parc Slip as they disperse to winter feeding grounds.

Flock of Lapwing in November 2013 taken above Parc Slip on Mynydd Ty Talwyn

The works that have taken place in the Lapwing field over winter to improve the habitat suitability for lapwing have included scrub clearance to increase the grassland and remove perching places for predators, cutting of the field in early February to decrease the sward height by local farmers Will and Rob and the installation of our lovely highland cattle, Mac, Hamish and Dougal.

Hopefully, all the habitat improvement will enable the lapwing to successfully breed again this year and we'll have more of these little guys running around!

Lapwing Chick Mike Snelle
The latest sightings have been of a flock of 12 lapwing on the 19th and 20th of Feb, circling the field and chasing off buzzards from the area- all good signs. Fingers crossed for the next few months for our lapwing!

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