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Tumbling plover

March 16, 2011

The elaborate tumbling aerial display of the Lapwing has sealed it. Spring is only really confirmed when the musical call of this beautiful Plover can be heard across the marshes.

 It’s alternative name of Peewit goes some way towards describing the call itself, but in reality this does not do it justice. The air needs to have a certain quality to encourage the bird to make the effort to start it’s courtship flight (That and the presence of a likely mate or two), a sunny Spring day like last Sunday being a particular favourite. One of the best places to view this – if you happen to time it right – is from the little footbridge which crosses the River Mermaid at its confluence with the Bure. From here a wide Norfolk sky and a broad river meander are the backdrop.

The display flight itself consists of steepling climbs and convoluted tumbles earthwards. The tumbles turn in on themselves in a pattern which is hard to disentangle with the naked eye alone. All the time accompanied by a regular ‘look at me call’. Really a sight not to miss.

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