Jul 26 2023

Memorable Moments on the Heath 4: Four heathland birds

Welcome to the fourth in a series, compiled by Warden Mike, featuring members of the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership team recalling memorable moments on the heath.

Warden Tim: Four heathland ground-nesting birds

My day started rather dreary and somewhat lifeless, typical of early February. I had gone to the top of Tank Hill, Chobham Common, to have a look at the aftermath of a recent wildfire – the first of the year on the Special Protection Area. There were crows patrolling, keeping their eyes open for any survivors of the fire. It all seemed rather bleak.

Then the sun came out, accompanied by the distinctive and exquisite “lul-lul-lul-la-laaaaaa” of a Woodlark (Lullula arborea). It was joined by a Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola), then a Dartford Warbler (Curruca undata), and finally a Skylark (Alauda arvensis). With this ornithological orchestra singing for me, the mood of the day changed completely – it was an uplifting prelude to that year’s nesting season.

Photograph of a streaky brown and cream bird called a Woodlark, peering out from tall grass

Woodlark (credit: Michael Jones)


Photograph of a brown bird with a black head called a Stonechat perched on a pine branch

Stonechat (credit: Michael Jones)


Photograph of a brown bird with a red eye and long tail feathers called a Dartford Warbler, perched on a pine branch

Dartford Warbler (credit: Rob Solomon)


Photograph of a streaky beige and brown bird called a Skylark, perched on an oak branch

Skylark (credit: Michael Jones)

Thames Basin Heaths Partnership


Click here to see the Heath Week line-up


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