Latin name: Alauda arvensis Skylark

Size: Length 18-19cm

Where: Any open grassland or moors

When: All year round, but most noticeable on warm, sunny days

You are far more likely to hear a skylark than to see it. For many people their liquid song captures the essence of a warm summer day, drifting down from high in the sky. Look up and all you will see is a black dot against the blue. If you are not sure what it sounds like go to the RSPB’s website where you can hear a piece of its lovely music.

If you do see a skylark up close you’ll find it’s a buff brown, streaky bird – some might say dull – with a small, jaunty crest which it raises when alarmed. Bigger than a blue tit, smaller than a blackbird, it has a flight like a Harrier jump jet – lifting straight up into the air as high as 1000ft to sing. Once there it can sing for up to an hour, advertising its territory to keep other skylarks at bay.

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Any natural place contains an infinite reservoir of information, and therefore the potential for inexhaustible new discoveries.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods