Tag Archives: skylark

Young Skylark

Just a couple of photos today, of a recently fledged skylark that I spotted at Sheepcote Valley today. Skylarks are possibly the distinctive sound of the countryside as they hover high above fields with a constant trilling, before spiralling back down to earth. Recent significant declines in their population mean they are ‘red listed’. The decline is thought to be due to changes in farming practices. Nice then to see a healthy youngster.

young skylark

Young skylark at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

young skylark

Young skylark at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Birds

Catching Up – Variety Post

I’ve become consistently inconsistent in my posting, partly due to fewer opportunities to spend time out with the camera but also because I am becoming a touch more picky about what I do post. Anyway, here’s a selection from the first week of April (8 days a week?)

I spotted this skylark on a fencepost at Sheepcote Valley on my way in to work.

April 1st – I spotted this skylark on a fencepost at Sheepcote Valley on my way in to work.

Kestrels over Moulsecoomb, Brighton

Lunchtime – a pair of Kestrels over Moulsecoomb, University of Brighton

The first photo of a fox in the garden for quite some time. I was pleased despite the poor angle.

April 3rd – The first photo of a fox in the garden for quite some time. I was pleased despite the poor angle.

Nicked-ear fox

April 4th – another encounter with a garden fox

Yellowhammer

April 7th – a very pretty Yellowhammer at Sheepcote Valley

Today - a Fulmar at Rottingdean Cliffs

Today – a Fulmar at Rottingdean Cliffs, taken at lunchtime

Short-eared owl

And after several missed attempts, a short-eared owl this morning at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

short-eared owl

Final shot for today – one of the owls flying over the edge of the golf course.

Camera note: all daytime photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Fox taken with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, Kestrel, owl Also tagged , , , , |

Field Birds

More sunshine today (it won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while it’s there), and a quick walk across Sheepcote Valley this morning where the skylarks were enjoying the dry weather. Skylarks are true birds of the field, nesting on the ground among the long grass and crops. Changes in arable farming have, in recent years, disrupted breeding sites and skylarks are now red-listed, indicating that their numbers are in steep decline.

Skylark resting in grass at Sheepcote Valley

Skylark resting in grass at Sheepcote Valley

Skylark in flight

Skylark in flight

Skylark is flight with wings raised

Skylark is flight with wings raised

The other field bird today is the kestrel. Their interest in fields is for nesting, but for feeding on small mammals (voles) and large insects (crickets). I spotted this one at lunchtime on the downland behind Moulsecoomb in Brighton. It was busy hunting, and I caught this sequence as it dropped low to skim across the fields.

Kestrel (male) at Moulsecoomb, Brighton

Kestrel (male) at Moulsecoomb, Brighton

kestrel

kestrel

kestrel

It’s not my best sequence, but the kestrels seem to be a regular feature so if the weather holds I may do better.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds Also tagged |