I noted a record yesterday which has prompted a few brief notes about the Shore Lark - another rare bird in our area and well beyond - and was of nineteen birds at Dingle Marshes in Suffolk. This number of the species strikes me as exceptional as the birds are not recorded as a 'flocking' bird in this country and at best are usually only seen in single figures. The Shore Lark (SL) is a scarce visitor from Fennoscandia of which there is a ninety year old record of a bird at Ainsdale in December 1920, after which there was no published records of SL for forty three years until another bird reported on the shore at Fairhaven in December 1963.
The SL is remarkably rare anywhere in our area to the north of Blackpool, but single birds at Carnforth slag tips in January 1968, February 1975, April 1997, and November 1998 are the only records. Two more records of interest are of inland birds with one at Stocks Reservoir in February 1987, one on Pendle Hill in December 1990, with another one there in October 1994.
All British records are believed to be of breeders across Eurasia from S.Norway to Lake Baikal, though they have been known to summer on mountain tops in Scotland where they are also known to have bred in the past, and a fledged juvenile in 2003 was the first confirmed breeding since 1977.
It strikes me I should be taking a look in on the slag tips at Carnforth....we may be missing some excellent SL records in our area.
Black Kite. Phillip Tomkinson
An excellent image of the impressive Black Kite with thanks to Phillip. I have a new monitor which I've had little time to install properly, as a result these pictures may be burning your eyes out as they are mine, if they are then you now know why until I get to do some adjustments.
You will have gathered I've not got out birding yet and this has now gone beyond the serious, I almost dare not suggest....maybe tomorrow.