Posts Tagged ‘Woodlark


A Lark Would

At Wild Ken Hill between tours the other week I was casually eating my lunch when I heard something different … but strangely familiar. The song was coming from the roof of the grain barn. I put down my sandwich and picked up my bins. There it was. A Woodlark. Giving an oddly ‘clipped’ version of its song.

It stayed just long enough for me to fix the scope on it and take a few pics.


Larks Down

I’ve not seen as many Woodlark in Norfolk this year. It’s completely unverified but I get the impression numbers are down. However, we did come across this showy individual a few weeks ago that was completely unintimidated as it walked ahead of us through a car park.



A miss was a hit

Missing something by just minutes is always pretty galling. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers had been seen shortly before we got to the site. By the time we got there I could hear nothing of them. Just the distant drumming of a Greater Spotted. However; there was consolation .

Lesser spot would have been the golden ribbon around a suite of Breckland birds on the ‘Breckland Birding Day’ a week or so ago. Some beautiful singing Woodlarks, best ever sightings of displaying Goshawk, crest raising Firecrests, a flock of leaf litter tossing Hawfinch, more Brambling than you could shake a hairy stick at and some of the reddest male Crossbills you have seen in your life! Throw in a bold Water Rail with black faced Siskins and a small flock of Marsh Tits and we had a day that was memorable.

For me however the thing that topped the lot were the two Otters feeding beside us as we waited for the Lesser Spots… beautiful.


A lark’s song

As we were waiting for the Great Grey Shrike to show last month I could hear Woodlarks singing in the distance. I couldn’t quite believe it when another flew from the opposite end of the heath and landed on the branch of the tree just a few feet in front of us. How lucky is that. It then started to sing in reply completely oblivious to clicking shutters. It stopped there quite a while before being flushed by a dog walker and flying off in the direction of its rival.



Some excellent bird tours in February. Around 6 trips into the Brecks and almost as many into the Broads. The tour on the day of storm Doris was a challenge to say the least, but we still managed a few things of interest. Here’s a compendium of photos of just a few birds we came across during the month.

bewicks-swan crane glaucous-gull goshawk great-grey-shrike hawfinch iceland-gull lesser-spotted-woodpecker mediterranean-gullrough-legged-buzzardsiskinsnow-buntingwaxwingwoodlark




This little Woodlark was sat quietly feeding in the grass by one of the paths on the heath last week. It has to be said though the beauty of the song far outshines the plumage.



The silence of the Lark

Walking across the heath laden with yellow gorse flowers amid the scent of coconut I caught a glance of something small flying over me. Silent but direct in flight the short tailed bird landed on a bush. I’m guessing the Woodlark had either finished nesting or was a non-breeder. I watched it from a distance and it didn’t appear to be collecting food. Hopefully they have done well despite the cold spring.



Things are brighter than you would imagine

On one tour last month we tried to find displaying Goshawk but the weather was wrong. It had forecast bright and showery weather but it was the dullest greyest day you could imagine. If I was a Goshawk the last thing I would want to do is display. We had some good Woodlark though among many other birds and a magnificent display of Winter Aconite. What a wonderful sight to brighten anyone’s day.

Winter Aconite


Larking Around

The sun brought the promise of a change in the weather on Saturday. As I turned from shutting the garden gate a large flock of Skylarks took flight from the field opposite. I made a quick guess there were around 250 of them and despite carefully looking none appeared to be short tailed … but they were marvellous to see.

It was later in the day that I received a text from Simon to say he’d seen a probable Woodlark around 500 metres north of Falcon Cottage. It didn’t take me long to get there and an even shorter time for us both to establish it was indeed a Woodlark. It was scratting around among short scrub at the edge of the plough. Shortly after I got there it lifted up and showed a short tail as it gave classic calls flying west over my head, to be re-found later by Andy at Toll’s Hill.

I wonder if this is the same returning bird that spent a few weeks with us last winter or maybe the area just looks right for a stop-off if you’re a passing Woodlark.




They don’t call the Lesser spotted Woodpecker ‘Ladderback’ for nothing. This uncommon tiny sparrow sized woodpecker inhabits the very outer branches in the tops of tall trees. Its black and white patterned back – the ladder back – is surprisingly well camouflaged. February and March are good months to find them before the trees ‘leaf up’ and they are still calling as they mark out their territories. As well as Lesser spots … Goshawk, Hawfinch, Firecrest and Woodlark are all possible on a Birdwatching Tour to the south of Norfolk at this time of the year. If you are interested in a day out give me a call or send me a mail.

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Jun 2023


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