Singing Bushlark ID

Subject: Singing Bushlark ID
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 08:00:19 +1000

G'day all

The Singing Bushlark is not a bird I know well.  In fact I've only seen them on
three occasions (King's Canyon, Broome and Capertee Valley).  In each case the
birds were sitting on fences singing and allowed close views.

Yesterday I called in briefly at Lake Fyans (near Stawell in western Victoria)
and watched a small bird performing a Skylark-type song flight.  Both the flight
style and the song were different however.  The flight was a series of short
loops (like it was on a roller-coaster) and the song was a series of short,
plaintive cheeps - nothing like the rollicking Skylark.  At the end of the
flight the bird dropped to the ground in a single motion.

The bird was of the right colouration for a Songlark/Skylark/Pipit/Bushlark.
When doing the loopy flight it held it's tail partially erect.  I noticed white
on the sides of the tail.

Consulted field guides almost convince me that the bird was a Singing Bushlark
and I am familiar with the Skylarks and Songlarks which behave in similar
fashion.  However the single-motion drop to the ground is not supposed to be
characteristic of the Bushlark and no-one mentions the tail being held up.

Would some of you with more experience with this bird please give an opinion.



Steve Clark
45 Carmichael Street, Hamilton, Victoria, 3300

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