Friday, 25 March 2016

Wood Larks at Santon Downham

13th March 2016

Wood Larks should be singing now so time for a visit to Santon Downham. Having parked the car we walked down the ride to the clear-fell and proceeded to walk slowly round the area listening out for the unmistakable song of a Wood Lark to no avail. In fact it was very quiet all round with no sign of any Meadow Pipits, Yellowhammers or Stonechats, all of which are usually present. In fact the only birds singing were Sky Larks in the neighbouring sheep field.

At the far side of the area I had a quick scan over Grimes Graves with the bins and quickly located the long-staying Great Grey Shrike, albeit just a pale grey speck at that distance. As it was very quiet here we decided to cut our losses and head back to the car and drive round to Grimes Graves. We had only gone about 20 yards when I heard the faintest of Wood Lark song, probably about 300 yards away, so the Great Grey Shrike plans were put on hold as we decided to try and track down the lark.

The bird was now much closer and although it was relatively easy to determine the direction, it was almost impossible to work out the distance or height. We eventually saw the bird as it dropped out of a tree and landed in the grass between the rows of newly-planted firs. Luckily the bird continued with a very subdued sub-song as it continued to feed which allowed us to locate it and get some shots.

Well, got there eventually, but very hard work. Thank goodness they continue singing whilst on the ground.

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