Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow-bound patch delivers

This was the scene as I walked to work through the snow today. Alexandra Park was transformed by the white stuff, if rather birdless. But then it happened - a distinctive flight call that I know well, even if not from these parts. Woodlark! As instantaneously as it clicked, it was followed by the rasping chirrups of Skylarks. I looked up to see a significant lark flock heading north, presumably reorienting after the snow had stopped. There were 24 birds in all - one Woodlark and 23 Skylarks. The former was my first at this north London site, which for a brief period in the mid-Seventies had its own regular wintering group of Woodlarks. A couple of east-bound Fieldfares were the only other evidence of hard-weather movement, but my year-list for the park grew further later in the day at the Birdwatch office, from where we were treated to the aerial antics of not one but two Peregrines - the latest in a sequence of recent sightings. Are they moving in to the area?

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