My intention this morning was to visit pine woodland and clearings for Woodlark, the conditions indicated that the species would be displaying.
As I approached the clearing I could hear Woodlark singing, therefore I decided to find a suitable spot to sit and wait.
After a lengthy wait I could once again hear calling Woodlark, a sweet "toolueet" was often heard.
Woodlarks then started to appear very close in front of me, in total, 4 birds (2 pairs) were present.
|Typical Woodlark breeding habitat near Hilborough, Norfolk|
The picture to the left shows typical Woodlark habitat. Formerly, this was a commercial pine crop, this has obviously been felled and planted with a new crop on pine saplings. At the current time the saplings stand at about 18 inches tall, with these saplings being quite young the rows between the trees are quite wide with short cropped vegetation which Woodlarks need for feeding. As these Saplings grow to probably about 6 to 8 feet in height, the rows between the trees will fill in and will thus become unsuitable for Woodlark. The birds will therefore need to move on for freshly clearfelled areas of forest in the Brecks. The long rows of dead wood within the areas of clearfell serve as song-posts for the Woodlark. Breeding occurs on the ground in a suitable well vegetated grassy tuft close to the base of a tree.
|Woodlark near Hilborough, Norfolk 04/03/14|
|Woodlark near Hilborough, Norfolk 04/03/14.|
The left picture shows a Woodlark on a typical perch within a dead woodpile in the clearing. The conspicuous perch seen here will serve as a song-post as well as to observe its surrounding from.
The plumage of the Woodlark is such that it may sometimes take some searching to find the bird hidden within the woodpiles, especially if the bird is silent.
This post has been dedicated to Woodlark, other birds seen in the area included 1 Common Buzzard, a number of Siskins. Within the woodpiles both Wren and Dunnock skulked, and a Robin often popped up to show himself.
A constant stream of Gulls low overhead may have been making to nearby pig fields to feed.