In all the world there is nothing cuter than babies. Maybe not immediately after they are born or hatched or emerge into the world, but once they’ve recovered from the shock of being shoved into the world without so much as a user’s guide or map of life, there is nothing cuter.
Something about miniature versions of ourselves is touching. Maybe it’s the thought of ourselves once being that little and realising how far we’ve come, or maybe it’s the picture of a young, untouched, unburdened little thing with all the hope of the world in front of it.
Whatever it is, I’ve always been a fan. I started with puppies and progressed to ducklings and lately I’ve kind of come around to enjoying human babies too. It helps that my friends have such adorable, cute and clever babies. Or am I just biased?
But the baby I’m talking about today is something different, and so special because I’ve never seen it before and I think that it is probably a rare sight given the protection that these babies are usually given by their cautious parents.
I’m talking about plovers. That’s what we call them, and that is the type of bird that they are, but their bird name is Masked Lapwing, specifically the eastern form of this species.
Adults are not hard to find and in fact can become quite a nuisance during breeding season because they nest on the ground and will go to great lengths to keep you away from their nest! They try to distract you by loud shrill cries, by making a big fuss as they flap away from the nest pretending to be injured, and by swooping unfortunate people going about their business but happening to be passing by a nest.
This is what the adult looks like in the eastern parts of Australia, this particular one found in Queenscliff:
Eastern Masked Lapwing stalking around in the freshly mowed grass
This is the cutest little miniature version, found in Lake Lorne in Drysdale this afternoon:
First glimpse of the cutest miniature ever: Masked Lapwing
Cute puffy little eastern Masked Lapwing in the lake
Baby eastern Masked Lapwing at Lake Lorne
Beautiful baby eastern Masked Lapwing
Two cute little miniature Masked Lapwings, already able to fly!
So cute, right? I’m so happy to have found them! Ah bird watching, something new and interesting every time!!