Skylarks (Jodie Randall)

In between taking far too many photographs of my local hares, which seems to have turned into a bit of a project, I have become increasingly distracted by the resident skylarks. A small brown and white streaked bird, the skylark predominantly resides on farmland. Due to changing agricultural practices the species is now in trouble, resulting in the bird gaining red list conservation status. Birds on the red list are of the highest conservation priority. Fortunately there are quite a few individuals doing well at my hare site. Personally, I have always thought them to be quite indistinct looking little birds. It is their song that sets them apart. Usually heard as they soar delightfully towards the heavens until to the human eye they are no more than a silhouetted speck, their melodious song cuts through the air. They provide the natural soundtrack as I wait for the hares to appear. Their notes rain down from above drenching the landscape with song. The other day, I came across one perching on a mound of earth. Set among the dew-covered grasses it sang; sharp yet  somehow sweet, every intoxicating note spilled into the misty morning air along with its golden breath. After I had taken some shots, there was nothing left to do but sit and listen.

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