Lap wing, a bird I’ve known from childhood. The name so familiar I had not thought what the lap of lapwing might signify. Lap, a fold of cloth. To lap, like a wave. I remember flocks of lapwing from childhood. No need to seek for them, they were large flocks to be found in wet pastures and on farmland. About ten years ago, in Upper Teesdale, we tiptoed through a marshy pasture taking care not to tread on lapwings' eggs.
In our time, in May 2019, there is a report from the Committee on Climate Change. Reports on loss of species, of habitat, of biodiversity. An awareness that makes our time about Plover Hill and Pen Y Ghent all the more special. Listen to lapwing while you may.
Redstart high in the canopy. I tune to the rhythm of his calling. And his display flights, when he appears to quit his bare twig, but returns to it moments later. Now he calls from another high larch and suddenly there's an exquisite song and a flurry of movement in the foliage. He has a mate. I do not see her but sense her presence and their mating from the soft and lyrical moment of song. I love trying to fathom what I witness. Is he aware of the female's presence when he begins to display? Listening to his courtship repertoire, I hear its subtlety.