Workers take nesting plovers under their wing
NESTING plovers can be annoying creatures but the Harwood Marine workers building the new slipway have taken a nesting pair right in the middle of their worksite under their wing.
All the care and attention they have lavished on the pair, who decided to lay their clutch of eggs on a non-descript mound of earth on the site, has come to fruition with the eggs hatching successfully this week.
Plovers, or masked lapwings as they are also known, are normally placid, if noisy creatures, but around nesting time they can get positively belligerent.
Harwood Marine managing director Ross Roberts said staff had been taking particular care of this pair and were excited to see a hatchling emerge this week.
Plovers are tenacious and imaginative when it comes to guarding those precious eggs.
They can launch an all out assault on threats like dogs and cats, striking with the spur on their wings if necessary.
Or they can fiercely protect a fake nest to distract an attacker.
At other times they will feign injury, hopping on one leg or folding a wing to distract the predator away from eggs or chicks.
Plover chicks can display distinctly human traits after reaching full growth at four to five months.
They often stay with the parents for one or two years resulting in family groups of three to five birds nesting in one location over the summer.
When not defending the nest the birds forage on the ground for worms and insects.