I recently had a visit from a Killdeer, my first encounter of this plover-type bird. I heard it before I saw it, and I haven't seen it since, but I know it still is around.
At night I let the dogs out for their last trip to potty around 10:00 p.m. There is a street light a couple of lots over which is more than enough light for this "Dark Sky" loving individual, but pretty much it is dark in my rural yard…VERY dark. The Irish Setter and Yellow Labrador are free to run on their own at this hour, but my English Setter, Tanner, needs to be on a leash, as he would never come back inside given the choice of searching out wildlife in the garden or coming back inside to sleep. He's a nature lover, as well.
Stomped down grasses with a "hole" at the fenceline from my neighbor's natural area is evidence that I have marsh rabbits that visit the pond at night. The sound of doves taking flight as we walk along the driveway also whets his appetite to stay outdoors. But, nothing has captured his interest as the killdeer (pictured top during the day). The alarm sound of this bird has created a monster in my English boy. At first he merely perked up his ears and got in a "set" position. Now he wakes me faithfully at 4:00 a.m. with pleas of needing to go out. He really doesn't need to go…he just wants to flush out and hear this bird that is using our meadow grasses as night cover. Although sleep deprived, I find it amusing.
I find it more interesting that the bird chooses to stay in the area that the dogs have access to 24/7. Just yards away, on the backyard side of a fence, is my bird "promotion" area which the dogs only have access to when I am with them. Perhaps the killdeer is lying in wait to be amused as well.