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 Post subject: Lark, Melodious
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:33 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Posts: 2370
Location: Bashing Balule
Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
This near-endemic bird took me a long time to locate. The Melodious lark, Mirafra cheniana, is easily overlooked when not busy with its grand display flight that it only performs during summer. Having eventually located a field near Verena that holds a few pairs one finds them hovering almost right overhead, calling; mimicking everything in the area. Because I suffer from NIHL, I cannot distinguish what they mimic, but Roberts VII lists 22 bird families in their repertoire! No wonder this mimicking habit earned them the Afrikaans name of Spotlewerik! (Mimicking lark)

Image

It took quite a bit of running around through the field to get some decent shots of the bird in its display flight. Sometimes they fly up to 50+ metres high in which case you are wasting time to try and get shots... Other times they give one a treat by hovering quite low... Then the camera refuses to focus! One out of twenty shots turns out OK... :slap:

Image

Image

They are listed as near-threatened due to agricultural transformation and heavy grazing pressure on the remainder of the grasslands they prefer.

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