With spring flowers already blooming, bees already buzzing and reptiles starting to emerge from hibernation, another welcome and familiar sign of spring is the Skylark and its distinguishing song.
Subject to much literature, the uplifting variable song of the Skylark has inspired the work of many prestigious writers such as William Wordsworth and Chaucer. Visit Essex Wildlife Trust’s Abberton Reservoir nature reserve, Two Tree Island nature reserve, Blue House Farm nature reserve and Thurrock Thameside Nature Park now to observe this literary muse.
Witness male Skylarks soar high up into the air, rising vertically from the ground to perform their lengthy chattering songs. Hovering at heights of up to 300m on fluttering wings, these special aerial displays can last up to an hour before they parachute back to the ground. The song-flight is used to defend territories and attract mates, as the long energy expending display indicates to the female looking to breed, the quality of the male. You can also spot Skylarks singing whilst perched upon posts.
The Skylarks song is a familiar sound when walking in grassland and farmland habitats during spring and summer. We are very lucky to have Skylarks already performing on our nature reserves, it’s a spectacle that epitomises the British countryside and one that shouldn’t be missed!