Wednesday, January 31, 2018

πŸ“– 2018/Update #8 ~ Horned Lark!

🌧 πŸ‘€ 6C Wednesday 31st January 2018 ~ Dropping off a few crew members for the wife at Heathrow Airport early this morning offered the perfect opportunity to visit the nearby Staines Reservoir. Here a long-staying 'possible' American Horned Lark has been in residence along the causeway which separates both the north and south basins.

American Horned Lark ~ female alpestris, praticola or hoyti ~ Canon SX50
I parked on Town Lane adjacent to the eastern entrance to the reservoir and walked up the incline to the causeway, unfortunately just as the rain became a little heavier! On reaching the top it was obvious that I'd parked at the wrong end, I could just about make out a small group of birders at the very end, the other end!! After what seemed an age I finally arrived, now thoroughly soaked and face raw with the hail that was arriving almost horizontal in the brisk wind.

American Horned Lark ~ Thoroughly drenched like me! ~ Canon SX50
Fortunately, the bird was showing just through the railing about 25 meters or so away. To be honest, I didn't spend as much time with the bird as I'd wanted, due mainly to the weather and pissed wet through binoculars and camera. However, I was able to determine that there were certainly several characteristics of the Horned Larks I've seen in the US and Canada and it definitely didn't look like any Shore Larks I've seen in the UK. That said I'm no expert and we'll simply have to wait and see what those in the know decide but for me, a great little bird to see!

American Horned Lark