Lapwing

The lapwing are back! Well, a few of them, anyway.

Lapwing are curious birds. Pretty, in a fairly functional sort of way, they have wings that are altogether too broad and blunt for their diminutive size, with the result that they seem physically incapable of flying in straight lines. Instead, they’ll wheel around crazily, performing mad wing-overs and Immelmann turns, as they try to reduce the lift they’re generating enough to get back to terra firma. They’re like the avian equivalent of the Pitts Special, endlessly looping by accident while attempting to land.

When I was growing up in East Yorkshire, the fields were full of thousands of the things. Or rather, the skies above the fields were full of them, all trying to land but missing by a country mile and cartwheeling into the nearest barn instead. Then they disappeared – within a year or two, the population fell so far that, for the last half-dozen or so years, I don’t recall seeing any.

This year, they’re back. Still in nothing like their old numbers, but there’s a good-size flock near the A65 just South of Skipton, and I saw several small gatherings up on the Yorkshire Moors this afternoon. They still seem to be flying completely out of control.

Welcome back, lads. It’s good to see you again – I’ve missed you, you crazy-flying bunch.

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