The Listening to Birds Blog

Song Thrush by Nigel Pye //


Many people love to hear skylarks singing. Lee Cole from Ruislip writes:

I love to be out in the countryside and hear less familiar birds or even new birdsong and try and spot the owner. But the most amazing call of all has to be the skylark. To be walking a bleak moor or coastal path and to hear such an incredibly complex call. It’s almost as though it has to sing every known note in head in as short a time as possible before it falls from the sky.

From Maggie Lewis in Marlborough:

Growing up in suburban Essex one of the things I remember is hearing skylarks, I can’t remember where, but the area around my parents’ house was much less built up than it is now so it’s possible I heard them in the back garden. I would always try to pick out the tiny dot high in the sky – can’t do it now though. I still love to hear their song.

Alana Michael from Malvern writes:

There’s a particular place high up on the hills in mid Wales which I have loved for along time, and I associate it with skylarks. I have often heard skylarks there, and for me their song is one of the very best sounds, for the association with freedom, summer, and wild open countryside. I was there once with my mother, and when she died in 2004 I choose “Skylark” by Hoagie Carmichael, played by Stephan Grapelli and Yehudi Menuin, as the music that the funeral service ended with. This is not only a beautiful piece of music, but I wanted to suggest that her spirit was now free to soar after a long illness. It was exactly right for the occasion, and in my mind I now associate skylarks with the memory of my mother.

A correspondent from Turriff:

When I was at secondary school I had to catch the bus at the end of our farm road, which in the summer had fields of oats or barley on either side. And on those bright summer mornings, more often than not me and my brothers would hear the rising and falling twittering of skylarks, and see them fluttering above the crops. It’s such a happy sound, and unlike any other bird song I’ve heard, it was a great way to start the day. Skylarks always remind me of standing waiting for the school bus on a sunny morning, in my t-shirt with my rucksack on my back.

From Lynda Read in Sandwich:

Skylark: Reminds me of balmy summer evenings when I used to rush home from work, change clothes to join my twin sons on the golf course. They were both caddies at Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich in Kent. They had “artisan” passes so that when members of the club had finished, they could play on the course. It is a links course (sand dunes by the sea shore) and skylarks were always there singing in the background. Sometimes we might disturb them if a stray ball went into the rough and we would see a brown bird take off. More often than not though we could not see the birds only hear them singing high above us. You might see a dot in the sky that may or may not have been the source of this amazing sound. It seemed multi-directional, just coming out of the sky. Absolute magic.

From Marian Reid in Boness:

When I was a child I hoidayed at my great-uncle’s in Portgordon, by Buckie in Morayshire. He had a very peaceful house by the sea. One of my abiding memories of this time was lying on the grass outside the house under the wonderful hazy blue skies with the sound of skylarks singing high overhead and feeling my heart soar with their call. I never ever could see any of them though, no matter how hard I looked. Today I live at the edge of town in Boness with lots of fields close by. I hear the skylarks in summer and always remember those happy days and feel my heart free again.

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