Skylarking About: Monday, 18th February 2019

One of the most difficult birds to catch when using standard ringing techniques is the Skylark, Alauda arvensis.  There are a lot of reasons for this: they inhabit the centre of fields; they fly up vertically to sing; they drop more or less straight down and then run along through the vegetation to their nest, there really is little opportunity to catch them.

The group has only caught a total of 22 since it came into existence, and none since the end of 2012.

Jonny decided to try out a technique that we have been discussing for a while: drag netting.  He co-opted a couple of helpers to handle the net and he followed behind to control the operation and to handle anything that they managed to catch in the net.

It worked:

2019_02_18 Baileys Farm

Not just once, but twice!  It is turning into a very interesting February.