Winter at Holme Bird Observatory (please click for clip)

Friday, 1 January 2010


The above Woodlark was found and photographed in the carpark by Eric Yeomans on Saturday 19th December. This species is certainly a Holme rarity - it is the 15th known record in 9 years and the first known winter record:

2000 - 4 June 17th-August 25th decreasing to 2 August 26th-October 5th
- 1 present October 16th
- 3 west October 17th
2001 - 1 April 30th
2002 - 1 May 12th
2003 - 1 October 15th
2004 - 1 in off sea then west March 8th
- 1 east October 10th
2005 - 1 April 12th
2009 - 1 December 19th

This record was part of an exceptional winter movement of Woodlarks as a result of severe weather and heavy snowfall here and on the continent. On Sunday 20th 18 flew south at Hunstanton in 2.5 hours (11:00-14:00), a county record for a winter movement, and the same day 'several' flew west over Thornham and 1 flew west at Titchwell RSPB. This coincided with a good movement of Skylarks, Snipe and Woodcocks, some of which were arriving in of the sea, although many of the Woodlarks were low to the ground, much lower than in the autumn and as was the case with the one at Holme, were clearly looking for places to land and feed. It is interesting to speculate where these birds may have come from, was this just a search for food from inland or were they from the near-continent?

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