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Alain Chappuis / 7,427 items

N 159 B 944 C 67 E May 30, 2020 F Sep 18, 2020
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Skylark - Alauda Arvensis

Skylarks are characteristic of semi-natural grassland systems from sand dunes through heathland to marginal upland, but are most common in arable farmland, making use of the nesting cover and bare ground for feeding that crops themselves provide throughout the year. Males are highly territorial, using long song flights at high altitude to broadcast to rivals and potential mates because the open landscapes they prefer are devoid of high perches. The stamina required to sustain long song flights has led to song flight length being used as an “honest signal” of male quality by females, allowing male Skylarks to advertise themselves without bright plumage, so they have kept the cryptic, brown and streaked coloration that affords them protection from predators on the ground.

Although migratory in much of northern Europe, British breeding Skylarks are believed not to move far between seasons, although upland birds move to lower latitudes. They can then often begin to breed in March and continue into July, making up to three breeding attempts. In winter, they mostly use crop stubble and fallow fields, in which they forage for weed seed and spilled grain, often in large flocks. Throughout the year, the Skylark’s heritage as a steppe species is apparent in its avoidance of vertical structures, which restricts the suitability of farmland with a high density of hedgerows.

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Tags:   Skylark Skylarks Larks Lark Avian Animals Animal Birds. Bird Bird Photography Countryside Dunes Coastal Birds Farmland Fields Grasslands Song Birds Summer Migrant Heathland Heathlands Heaths Moorland Meadows Moors Wildlife. Wildbirds Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology

N 115 B 793 C 43 E Sep 14, 2020 F Sep 18, 2020
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Willow Warbler - Phylloscopus trochilus

Ready for it's journey Back!!


It is a bird of open woodlands with trees and ground cover for nesting, including most importantly birch, alder, and willow habitats. The nest is usually built in close contact with the ground, often in low vegetation. Like most Old World warblers (Sylviidae), this small passerine is insectivorous. In northern Europe, it is one of the first warblers to return in the spring though is later than the closely related chiffchaff.

It is a typical leaf warbler in appearance, 11–12.5 cm long and 7–15 g weight. It is greenish brown above and off-white to yellowish below; the wings are plain greenish-brown with no wingbars. Juveniles are yellower below than adults. It is very similar to the chiffchaff, but non-singing birds can be distinguished from that species by their paler pinkish-yellow legs (dark brown to blackish in chiffchaff), longer paler bill, more elegant shape and longer primary projection (wingtip). Its song is a simple repetitive descending whistle, while the contact call is a disyllabic 'hoo-eet', distinct from the more monosyllabic 'hweet' of chiffchaffs.

Willow warblers prefer young, open, scrubby woodland with small trees, including human-altered habitats such as coppice and young plantations up to 10–20 years old. High amounts of birch, alder and willow, with good lichen amounts, and water features (e.g. streams), fields with large amounts of bracken and mosses, and patches of low bramble (for nest cover) are preferred, but it will use a wide range of other species, including young or open coniferous forests. Incorporating woodland ride edge thickets is beneficial, as is 15 metre woodland edges of varying structure and height. They prefer damp woodland areas. Thicket forming shrubs like blackthorn provide pockets of habitat. Deer browsing can degrade the required low cover.

Tags:   Willow Warbler Warbler Warblers Avian Animals Animal Birds. Bird Bird Photography Song Birds Summer Migrant Countryside Copse Heathland Hedgerows Heathlands Heaths Moorland Marshland Meadows Marshes Moors Garden Birds Glades Grasslands Gorse Wildlife. Wildbirds Wetlands Woodlands Woodland Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Farmland Forest Forestry Forests Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology

N 50 B 400 C 2 E Sep 12, 2020 F Sep 18, 2020
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Seen flying over our accommodation in Crete.

Tags:   Bird of Prey Birds Kestrel Nature Bird Birds of Prey Falconidae Fauna Raptor Wildlife Gavalochori Crete Greece Coth SpecAnimal


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