Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Larking About

To me nothing gives me the feeling more that spring has arrived than the rapid ascending song flight of the skylark. A song that evokes memories of childhood holidays in the country. Unfortunately this is a species that has rapidly dropped in numbers in recent years in the UK but I am fortunate that quite a few birds still favour the coastal strip and dunes along the north end of the Wirral Penninsula. This is a popular area with walkers and horse riders and I am sure several nests must get unknowingly trampled under foot each year. My target for this spring is to try and get some decent flight shots of this bird, and I have a place in mind but just need to wait for the right weather conditions and wind direction. In the meantime I have been taking a few shots of birds that I have encounter over the last week or so.
The end that produces that wonderful song.
Their camouflage is superb and often the birds will sit still as you approach, hoping they haven't been seen and will crouch down like this until the last minute before taking flight to escape.

You have to constantly keep an eye on where they are as it is very easy to lose touch with their location or they just tend to blend into the grass.

and one amongst the dunes.
To finish off my only flight shot so far this year but not really the photo I have in mind but there is plenty of time :)


Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful. Love the clarity in the flight shot. I know that it may not be "what you had planned" but sometimes those shots become my favorites.. Thanks for sharing

Jane said...

I agree Stacey. I love the flight shot. I watched/listened to a skylark this morning at Kimmeridge, Dorset. Amazing birds. I thought to myself then... it would be great to get some video of it (with sound) like you I will have to wait for another day with better weather (no wind!). I also love the crest on the head of the male (?). You always manage to get to things before me... what are you photographing next. No don't tell me wheatears (my next target!). Jane

Rich Steel said...

Thanks Stacey and Jane for your comments.

The flight shots I see in my head will come it will just take some time and effort.

I have been keeping my eyes open for Wheatear as there are often some resting on their migration near to my skylark site. However, I find that when they first appear during migration they are very difficult to approach and its usually best leaving them a couple of weeks to settle before heading after them with the camera.



Little Brown Job said...

Beautiful shots, the detail in the flight shot is amazing. I've never seen a Skylark before, something to look forward to, hopefully.


Rich Steel said...

Unfortunately Paul, many people don't see skylarks anymore as they have declined so much, which is a shame as they are very interesting birds.




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