Friday, 24 May 2013

Stanwell Moor - 23 May 2013

We have been avoiding disturbance around the pool in the meadow as Lapwings were on territory and from monitoring at a distance there were already had well grown chicks. We met PCD and Sophie Bell to spend some time looking for pulli. Chris took up position slightly above the pool and guided us in towards the location of chicks.

The larger chicks were already gone but this was no surprise since they were not far off adult size when last seen a week ago. Our first find was a bit of a surprise as no Redshank chicks had been seen up until tonight.

Redshank pullus

On searching further another single Lapwing chick was ringed and another group of three apparent siblings were also found.

Lapwing pullus

We also found a nest with four warm eggs and these were left, having made a mental note of the location, for a later visit. We left the site to the birds with a good 40 minutes before dark allowing plenty of time for the parents and chicks to settle back into their usual night time behaviour.

In total so far Lapwings have had at least four broods of fledged young. On a previous visit, one juvenile, at almost full size was seen, with another around 50% grown. None of these were seen this time but they may have been away from the pool. Two pairs of  fairly recent chicks were seen this time, making at least four sets of hatched chicks, together with one still active nest. We found one chick dead with head injuries, and one of those we rung, though healthy, had signs of head injury, which we suspect would have been caused by crow attacks on the birds. One reason for the absence of the older two chicks may be due to the fact that on one visit a Fox was seen right in the middle of the breeding area, and the den was found on our way back out in one of the earthen mounds.

Totals: - 5
Lapwing - 4
Redshank - 1