Tuesday, March 09, 2010

'What Larks'

When I was at school, in the dim and distant past, we were asked to study Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Only one phrase has stuck with me from that book which is the title of this post about skylarks. Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than skylarks. Lying in the long grass on a sunny afternoon fascinated by the these small birds ascending to such a great height in a cloudless sky while their beautiful liquid song descends. My apologies I was getting a bit lyrical there but I am not the first to be so inspired by these beautiful birds.

My fascination with skylarks all these years later is no less diminished and now when the first image is captured on the memory card it signals to me that Spring has begun. I am fortunate to have a good population of these birds along the local coast and March is my favourite month to photograph them before the vegetation gets too long. As I walked to the site where I usually photograph them a smiled was raised by hearing that characteristics song overhead. Being a ground dwelling bird they are not one that is found perched in trees but they do have a fondness for sitting on fence posts.

In a more natural setting there excellent camouflage comes in to play and they can be quite tricky to spot.


By slowly and carefully crawling in to position I managed a low angle and to get in close proximity to a couple of birds and it is always a great pleasure to be in their company.


By opening up the lens aperture, the resulting shallow depth of field can turn the surrounding vegetation in to a mist of colour that is useful for drawing attention to the subject.

Hopefully I will get opportunity to have another session with skylarks before my attention is diverted by the arrival of the spring migrants. The first of the Northern Wheatear should be arriving in the next few days if they are keeping to their usual annual timetable.


holdingmoments said...

The sound of a Skylark takes me back to summers when I was about 12 years old. Such a beautiful sound; and these pictures are just superb Richard.
An excellent post.

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the reply. There is a lot of good work being done now by farmers to try and help skylark populations. Lets hope there efforts are uccessful as it would be a very empty sky without them.




Related Posts with Thumbnails