And as always I like to see and hear the birds, and the Lapwings certainly wanted to make sure I didn't miss them.
With their constant pee-whit calls I was surrounded by Green Plovers, Peewits, Pewits, Pee-wees, Chewits, Tuefits, Toppyups, Peasiewheeps, Teeacks, Teewwhuppos, Thievnigs, Wallocks and Plivvers. (And that's only some of the names for a them!).
Did you know a flock of Lapwings is known as a deceit? And the Shetland name of Tieve's Nacket means "thieves imp". It seems these birds weren't very well thought of in the past, although people did think well enough of them to eat them and their eggs. In fact, they were so well thought of as food that they were reduced to 20 breeding pairs by 1915. And the reason the Lappys were considered deceitful? It's because the birds feign a broken wing, or hop and flap and make a lot of noise to distract people away from their nests and to protect their eggs.
But that was in the past. Now they are plentiful and noisy. Out on the moor, I watched their acrobatics in the sky all around me. I tried to take some pictures, but all I got for my efforts were silhouettes. The wings look flappy and unmanageable, but despite appearances, they allow the Pie-wipes amazing aerial control.
And I have to mention Birds Britannica by Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey - it's full of all sorts of information about Lapwings. It's also got a few stories about Golden Plovers, Pipits and Grouse, but I'll save them for another day.