The collective noun for Skylarks is ‘an exaltation’ and had it not been for the overcast skies and an earlier brief shower of rain I am sure we would have seen a greater number as there are around 20-30 breeding pairs on the farm. A little later when the sun appeared several male skylarks ascended steeply upwards, hung in the sky warbling with gusto before dropping back to the ground.
Wick Farm extends to 220 hectares of which the majority is given over to mixed arable farming. Martin Smith, who owns the farm, has a great interest in birds and wildlife and we were very pleased that he could spare the time to escort the sixteen members of the Bird Group who attended today, on a ‘walk-talk’ around the farm. He told us that this year everything was about three weeks behind. Near the farmhouse and adjacent outbuilding 6-7 pairs of swallows were nesting and in a nest box there had earlier been a breeding Barn Owl but sadly the outcome was not a happy one – but it did give Martin a chance to clear the box ready for the next residents. In another barn a bird visited frequently to roost and visible signs were on the floor. On inspection the many pellets were found to contain much soft matter but with no sign of bones, and Martin explained they could only be from a Kestrel.