The neighbours that I had befriended moved away.
They didn’t say bye.
They didn’t call.
They just disappeared.

I’d got used to the family of masked lapwings, with their four little chicks. I recognised their tweets and cries. I knew when the parents were cranky with the ever curious chicks.

A human neighbour and I rescued two of the chicks before they were a week old. They explored into a sunken garden and couldn’t get back out. The parent birds have spurs on their wings and they swoop and attack when predators or dangers approach. So we protected our selves with umbrellas. This seem less ridiculous than the other suggestion – cushions tied to our heads.

We picked up the tiny soft fluffy fragile chicks and set them back on the grass where the nest had been. They wandered back to the parents and settled down for the night tucked under the mother’s wings.

The following morning, I was pleased to see the four chicks wandering around as if nothing had happened.

And then they were gone.

Three ducks moved in, occupying the grass space. I’m not sure of the family set up, but visiting males are mating with the lone female. It seems a bit brutal at times, when she is literally flattened beneath a male, with others looking on. But she gives them a good quacking and wriggles her tail with attitude when it is over. Perhaps there will be ducklings.

Then, the lapwing family reappeared. Two parents with only two chicks. Oh!

I know this is nature at it’s core. I’ve watched David Attenborough shows on tv. I remember the unbelievable footage of the barnacle goose chicks as they base jumped off the cliffs before they were fledged. I know I shouldn’t get attached to my neighbours.

This morning, I have again rescued one of the chicks who got stuck in the bottom section of the garden steps. I’ll be glad when they are fledged and can fly themselves out of trouble.