Gracedale visitor - Masked Lapwing Plover

These beautiful eggs belong to a pair of Masked Lapwing Plovers who came to vist Gracedale and taught us some incredible things.

This is the first time we'd seen these birds on our property who were swooping at us as we drove past a particular place on the driveway.  We thought that perhaps there was a nest nearby but they weren't near trees.  Then, one day we noticed four eggs, literally on the side of the road and of course they were fiercely protecting them as we drove past.  Through concern for their nest which was totally out in the open, we researched more and discovered that this is how they breed, they build a small hollow on bare ground, usually well away from cover, unlined or sparsely line with dry grass - absolutely amazing.

The chicks start walking around at only a few hours old, they left us yesterday.  It'll be interesting to see if they come back again next Winter.