A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Monday, 8 December 2014

Special Shore Larks

Having wanted to see a Shore Lark since I was very small, it was great to catch up with the Rossall Point bird at the weekend, which had already been present for a few days.

I’ve always wanted to see this species since I was around 5 or 6, when I visited my Grandparents in Prestatyn and walked along the beach where I would see pictures of Shore Larks adorning the nearby signs saying they lived there – always looking out hopefully for any individuals that might have been on the shore. Sadly however, these searches always proved to be fruitless (probably because I usually visited in the summer months when Shore Larks would be happily breeding away from the UK!!).

After making the drive up north, a short walk towards the observation tower resulted in the bird being located immediately by a sharp eyed gnome, impressively camouflaged amongst the pebbles and busily foraging along the tide line. With high tide approaching, the bird was at the very closest section of the beach showing relatively well, although it sometimes proved quite tricky to spot again if you took your eye off it for a second, when it blended straight back in to the sandy surroundings perfectly.

Shore Lark

I watched the bird for around an hour, happily feeding and preening – seemingly unbothered as a careless dog walker went within a few metres which I was almost certain would flush it. It was great to admire the beautiful “bumblebee like” face patterns of the bright yellow and black – a truly stunning little bird.

Shore Lark

Shore Lark

With Shore Lark occupying the number one spot on my BUBO target list for the past four years, I had made them a special target for the year, planning to see them on my trip to Norfolk in the winter. However, the arrival of the Lancs bird proved too tempting and something I just couldn’t resist!

This is the first individual in the Fylde area for over 40 years, so a great record and really pleasing to see the species locally in the North West as opposed to the East coast birds.

With no regular sightings in Prestatyn and the majority of North Wales for some years (apart from a couple of birds in the winter of 2009/10) it is a real shame that Shore Larks have declined in these parts and it would be great to see them make a comeback and become regular winter visitors once again.

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