I already know that brand-new birds straight out of the box are incredibly vulnerable, many of them don’t even survive their first 24 hours, but nothing reminds me more of this each spring than supremely vulnerable lapwing chicks.
Once they start moving around and stray onto open tarmac there is nothing that protective parents can do to help them. They are totally at the mercy of passing motorists. I photographed this one as it wandered on and off a narrow moorland road. 24 hours later, in just about the same place, I was disappointed to see the flattened remains of an unfortunate chick. Was it the same one? I don’t know.
It was probably the victim of a commuters’ rat run. A driver who travels this road every working day and is surrounded by local wildlife all year round, yet for some reason either failed to notice or simply failed to look at what was on the road in front of them. Nothing seems to be more efficient at disconnecting somebody from their surroundings than a motorised metal box with a wheel in each corner.