Shore Lark!

After a rather frustrating spring for scarce and rare birds on the island (generally involving very brief views of something before it disappears), we finally got a stunning bird today: this male Shore Lark. Found by Steffan in the north-west fields in the morning, this smart lark spent the rest of the day feeding amongst the clods of dry earth and emerging seedling. It is very much an unseasonal occurrence in the UK, with sightings more typically spread from late October to March. The last sighting of one in the UK this year was at Cleveland on the 4th of May. Most birds should be in the high Arctic by now! The last record on Bardsey was in November 1997- almost 20 years ago! It just shows what a rare bird it is here, and indeed its status in Wales results in it appearing on the Welsh Descriptions list. The scientific name of this species is Eremophila alpestris. This translate to ‘desert-loving’ and ‘of the alps’ (emeros = Desert + philos= loving, alpestric= of the alps). There are a whopping 42 different subspecies of the lark Worldwide. You can find out more about the species on the BTO website and on the Cornell Lab’s site.

Shore Lark. Canon 7D mkII, Canon 300mm f4, Canon 1,4x converter
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