Don’t try that old broken wing trick on me, Sandy Laverock

We’re walking around the north coast of Papa Westray. It’s one of the smaller inhabited islands of the Orkney archipelago. It’s full of life.

On the rocks in the distance is a juvenile Ringed Plover. They’re known in Orkney as Sandy Laverock.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s so scruffy I could even call it a fledgeling.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’m finding the whole experience of seeing it achingly cute. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

All that tiny, delicate, fresh, new life.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Then we see one of the parents.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s not amused.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s anxious and its instinctive response it to see us a predators and a significant threat. It calls.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It flies onto the grass near to us and tilts itself wildly and walks with an exaggerated gait.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s pretending to be badly injured with a broken wing. It walks away from us, keeping its wing well up over its back, checking every now and then where we are. I walk towards it and it flies off.

Ringed Plover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The chick has disappeared. It’s a wonderfully effective distraction ruse. I’m thrilled to have seen it acted out.

Feel free to leave a Reply :)