Identification - the skylark is greyish brown bird with a streaked back and breast with a white belly. It has an erect, blunt crest (brown) that is flat in the spring and erect in the autumn. It will fly up to 100 - 150 metres and sing in one spot with a distinct song from late winter to midsummer from dawn to dusk.
(Mullarney et al 2001)

General ecology - The skylark mainly nests on the ground and lives in a variety of habitats including arable land, cereal field margins, meadows and heathlands. It is common and widespread in Essex but there has been a 59% decline in the population between 1969 and 1991. Threats are intensification (large increases) of farming practices, intensive crop management and spring tides coming on to salt marshes where the birds nest.

(Photo - Bob Glover)