Thursday, 8 February 2007


Woodlarks are scarce in Kent. One or two pairs sometimes breed but not in very year. As a migrant there are normally a few in Spring and around twenty in the Autumn. We usually get our share here, with a few records each Autumn. This Autumn was no exception and two were seen on Oct 4th. What was exceptional is that they stayed around, in the same field and were joined first by one and then by two more birds. The little group dropped to four but these have so far spent the winter with us, an unprecedented occurrence. They are not easy to see on the ground, frequenting an area with tussocky grass, and often the first you know of them is the lilting "toolit" call and the view of four very short tailed birds flying round calling, before pitching down in another area where they are difficult to find. For the first time today I managed to photograph one on short turf, although further away than I would have liked. I did manage to get a quick picture of one flying overhead, which gives a good idea of the shape. They are quite a bit smaller than Skylarks, similar in colour, but with a prominent pale supercilium (line above the eye).

1 comment:

tut-tut said...

Great to catch one in mid wingbeat. Thanks for the information about the cranes, by the way.