Posted by: Ross Gardner | February 10, 2014


Are there many birdsongs that can lift the spirits more than the first Skylark singing in earnest?  Not many at all, I would suggest.  It is usually February, although sometimes a shade earlier, when that warming trill sprinkles down from overhead, like so many tiny crystals tinkling to earth.  A speck high up and all but swallowed up by a grumbling grey, winter sky, yet the purveyor of sounds that fixes its place for acres around.

The skylark has struggled against the juggernaut of high-input agriculture.  All too often they maintain a presence over the countryside which is a shadow of its former glories.  But maintain it they do, hanging on for better times to come, we might hope.    It seems that often such strongholds tend to be among the rougher grassland swards, robust enough to provide good cover and to resist disturbance from humans and their companions.  Places undisturbed also by injudicious husbandry.  The Skylark is a ground-nester and vulnerable to such intrusions.  In these places where they still occur in their once ubiquitous concentrations they are joy to the ear, the males competing, climbing and calling out ownership of their particular patch of land.

Any who are hoping for some high quality close-ups of Skylark in field will, I’m afraid, be disappointed.  Rather a few snapped images of a bird as it rose from the ground in front me to stake its claim once again, to maybe evoke snatches of that song.  It’s all about the sound…

Skylark climbing.....(Ross Gardner 2014)

Skylark climbing…..(Ross Gardner 2014)

... Skylark floating ... (Ross Gardner 2014)

… Skylark floating … (Ross Gardner 2014)

... Skylark rising (Ross Gardner 2014)

… Skylark rising (Ross Gardner 2014)



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