Monday, July 11, 2011

It’s A Lark

With a couple of hours to spare this morning I snuck out to Pilling to see what’s new. It was a good start when as I approached Lane Ends 2 Sparrowhawks were circling over the trees, then as I drove into the car park I heard a Chiffchaff singing from the plantation.

On the path to Pilling Water I saw that the next door farmer was cutting his silage fields, making hay in the morning sun, but a Lapwing wasn’t happy about him or me, and I realised there was a late brood of youngsters close by. I spotted three well grown chicks running along behind the sea wall and managed to locate two of them crouching in the grass. I always carry a selection of ring sizes and pliers in my camera bag, so quickly ringed them and let them join the escapee.


Along and out of Pilling Water I counted 7 Pied Wagtail, 5 Redshank, 5 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper, 55 more Lapwings, 1 Greenshank and a Little-ringed Plover, with herons represented by 2 Little Egret and 3 Grey Heron. The finch flock was more scattered today but I still found 45 Linnet, 14 Greenfinch and 8 Goldfinch, with a token count of 3 Meadow Pipit. My count of hirundines came to 40 Swallow, 10 House Martin and 3 Swift. Strictly speaking swifts are not swallow-like at all, but are almost always included in birders' counts of mixed swallows and martins.


To add to the find of a Skylark nest a few weeks ago, I located another this morning up near Fluke Hall, in a spot where Skylarks have sung all spring and summer. The nest may be a second attempt, or most likely a second brood, but the three young were too small for a ring and will have to wait until Wednesday when their legs are a little better formed.

Skylark nest


So for a bit of fun ID-ing, here’s a couple of different larks looking somewhat similar, Thekla Lark and Crested Lark, both confusable with each other, and each with Skylark possibly, especially as they inhabit similar landscapes. Fortunately the three species don’t occur together much in the UK, and certainly not at Pilling on a Monday morning.

Thekla Lark

Crested Lark


missing moments said...

I always enjoy coming here and learing and enjoying your photos. Thank you!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Phil, I am glad that you spied the Lapwings to ring before at least 2 got away. I must say, so many of your entries are so incredible, but those young skylarks in nest are so irresistible, I just keep staring at them. What a lovely image you got! Have a marvelous week~

Seasons said...

It has to be through interest and experience that one learns to recognize similar bird species, not to mention a good memory. Enjoyed looking at the Skylark nestlings. Hungry always, aren't they? Thanks.

Paco Sales said...

Genial la foto del nido de las Alondras una simpatica foto, un abrazo Phil y a seguir con este bello trabajo

Stu said...

I THINK I saw a Crested in Andalucia and a Thekla in Majorca, someone said Cresteds don't occur in Majorca and the one in Andalucia was on the ahem not a great way to confirm IDs but it was a long time ago and no-one is going to check........

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