The Kids are Alright…

At the moment the world is full of youth and promise in the world of the wild. Just in the Laguna de Navaseca alone there are juvenile Kentish Plovers, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Moorhens and Coots, Little and Black-eared Grebes, Flamingoes etc. Some are able to fly but others have their parents watchful eye on them as was the case of this Kentish Plover who seemed like he hadn´t taken to the skies yet.

 Or these crazy looking Coot chicks…

…which eventually grow up looking a bit more normal shall we say…

2011_05_12 TD - Eurasian Coot - juvenile (Fulica atra) 02 by Mike at Sea
Eurasian Coot – juvenile (Fulica atra), a photo by Mike at Sea on Flickr.

Nor had this young Avocet taken to the skies but who quite happily walked past me in the car a few metres away.
And then there are the mallard ducklings which I saw in Alarcos a few months/weeks ago which really haven´t a clue I think as they swam past me aware of my presence but not exactly panicking.

2011_06_17 AL - Mallard - juvenile (Anas platyrhynchos) 03 by Mike at Sea
Mallard – juvenile (Anas platyrhynchos), a photo by Mike at Sea on Flickr.

Another example of this years youth, a Collared Pratincole in Peralvillo

The most noticeable thing about these young ones though, is their naivete or trust or, much more likely, their lack of experience. They walk very close to you and only move away when their parents give an alarm call. Until they hear that, the coot chicks with their wild red heads, or the waders with their ungainly looking legs and downy feathers just walk or swim past the car where you park. It´s a shame that as they get older they lose that innocence, meaning we have to be more stealthy and hidden when observing them or do so from afar.

I suppose it´s the same as ourselves, homo sapiens, we reach an age where we lose our innocence, and I don´t just mean meeting members of the opposite sex (or same, whatever) but where we realise that the world isn´t just free food and getting tucked in to bed all nice and warm, where our parents are watching over us making sure we come to no harm. We eventually run into thieves and drunks, junkies and punks and other people who may wish us ill. Still though, I´d rather be pacifically mugged and relieved of my cash than have a Marsh Harrier come down on top of me and take me away for lunch…especially if I was the young wader providing said lunch!
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