News from the Lapwings is that there is indeed a nest.

I returned to the field today with the Land Rover as a hide, which allowed me to get a bearing on the sitting bird before walking out to search the area. At 10am this morning it was just the male with his extra long crest and glossy plumage, sat rather high on the nest, so he stood out well compared to the female yesterday morning.

The nest had three eggs this morning

Lapwings usually have clutches of four so it may be right at the start of the nesting process – the female lays one egg per day. Given that the birds were not seen in the first half of March, and Lark Rise farmer, Tim Scott has only seen one bird during the week, it seems to me that they have turned up and quickly got on with the job. Also the fact that the male is particularly splendid, I am fairly sure that  I recognise them as the same pair that were successful twice in the past. An experienced pair with a very defensive male, so they may have a chance against all the crows.

I spent the rest of the day working on the hedge-laying, trying to get the last few bits done before the end of the month. It was very isolated, with just a few people passing on the path separated by a meadow and brook, plus Tim's trusty farm hand Ben waved from the tractor cab!

On my way back, I came across a small flock of fieldfares, so had a chance to use the land rover hide again – they are about to leave for Europe, so this was a last chance to see them. They are particularly stunning at this time, as they get their fresh breeding plumage and the bill turns bright yellow.

As I left the farm, the female Lapwing was sat very tight and the male was on guard. Whether she laid another egg today or has started incubation already before the last or if it is just a clutch of three, will come clear over the next couple of days and weeks. (The incubation period is generally four weeks so I'll keep you updated.) 

Dr Vince Lea
Head of Wildlife Monitoring 

Donate to our Colours of the Countryside appeal today