image of the month

To remind you of the spring that has just gone. It is about 20 years since I last encountered a lapwing nest as closely as this Buxton clutch. The nest structure is litle more than a few strands of old grass matted together into a frail halo, often slightly raised off the general turf, and made warm by the brood patch of the female. The eggs have that exquisite pyriform shape and while I might lament the massive historical shipment of lapwing eggs from all over Britain and the Low Countries to the breakfast tables of Victorian London, I can appreciate that there was an aesthetic process at work as well as a culinary choice. Imagine the eggs, which are by no means small, coming down the female’s oviduct and as they descend, acquiring, each one separately, a unique patterning of dark blotches upon the glorious camouflaged ground colour. In these patterns I can see the outlines of entire countries , including China in the shell of the right egg and all Europe in the left.

sponsors logo

%d bloggers like this: