|So sweet... Ringed Plover chicks Taken under NPWS licence (Em Witcutt)|
We have our first chicks!! Not Little Terns, it’s a little too early for that… but Ringed Plover. We were carrying out our daily nest checks of the Little Tern colony and spotted three tiny balls of fluff.
|Ringed Plover nests are amazingly camouflaged Taken under NPWS licence (Em Witcutt)|
|And their chicks are very good at hiding too! Taken under NPWS licence (Em Witcutt)|
Ringed Plovers leave their nest very soon after hatching so these guys were probably less than a day old, and already running around the beach on their long spindly legs. We have plenty more nests around so hopefully lots more chicks will be popping up in the next few days.
These birds are excellent parents. If the adults think something might be threatening the young, they perform a ‘broken-wing dance’. They stumble away from the nest, holding their wings at an awkward angle. The idea is that any predator will think the adult is injured so will be an easy meal, and will attack it rather than finding the nest. Parents literally sacrifice themselves so that their chicks stand a chance of surviving!
|A proud parent with a youngster Taken under NPWS licence (Em Witcutt)|
Elsewhere, our Little Terns are well on their way to becoming parents too. We’re up to 40 nests now, with plenty more expected over the coming days. Feel free to come down to the beach for a visit, there will always be a warden around to give you a view of the birds and answer any questions you have.
Paddy and Em