Thursday, 19 November 2009

Shore Larks, Holkham Bay

I made another return visit to Holkham on Sunday afternoon, since Dad hadn’t seen the ever-increasing Shore Lark flock yet. No great hardship – they’re cracking birds, and all the more welcome having been very scarce in the last couple of winters.

Photos are still not as good as I would like (i.e they’re not really sharp), but they’re heading in the right direction! The problem is getting there when there isn’t anyone else around – while taking these, I was sure I could get closer without disturbing the birds, but as soon as anyone else turns up, you can guarantee they’ll either:

a) Walk straight up to you and bellow “Any sign of the Shore Larks?” as they fly off into the distance, or

b) Set up a scope and tripod 300m away and make a series of loud remarks about “bloody photographers, always getting too close” while the larks amble around contentedly.

Anyway, enough of the ranting – here are some photos!

PS – since several people have asked me where these birds are… see the red circle on >this map<.

shorelark5 shorelark1 shorelark2 shorelark3 shorelark4

4 comments:

Fst0pped said...

I'm going to be up in Norfolk this weekend, staying in Sheringham, and a visit to Holkham for some Shorelarks is definitely on the itinerary. Is there any particular bit of the reserve I should be focusing on? By the looks of it my best bet would be to park in Lady Ann's Drive and walk up from there.

JONATHAN LETHBRIDGE said...

At the risk of stealing Bradders' thunder, yes. Don't forget to first get fleeced by the guy in the hut, then drive right to the end. Or just park over the road and walk it instead, saving £3.50. Take the boardwalk directly in front on you, and when you hit the beach, bear right/east, either staying close to the edge of the pines, or by following an obvious creek. The birds tend to hang about where the creek vaguely ends, feeding on the saltmarsh level with a large gap in the dunes.

David said...

Thanks Jono - I didn't get in until late last night so didn't see the request for info.

I'll add a map and grid ref to the main post above.

Fst0pped said...

We got to the right sort of area, but no Larks and no Snow Buntings. Asked around and no one else carrying a scope had seen them that evening either. *sigh* can't win 'em all.

Heard a lot of odd calls though and took a very poor quality photo which JA reckons might be a Twite. Having got back and checked Twite call, it does sound like what we heard. First I've seen, even if I didn't know what I was looking at :-)