Saturday, 13 June 2015

At the end of a rainbow

A rainbow ends in a grass tussock

Sunshine and showers are a good mix for watching birds as they take cover while the rain is on, then pop out and get busy as soon as it stops. And rainbows appear.

The grass at the end of the rainbow - nothing there

When a shower passed by last week, I noticed a skylark collecting food and watched it fly twice into the same tussock of grass. So I was certain that there was something there and began to walk over to investigate. Then another sharp shower flashed over and a rainbow curved down into the spot where the skylark had been.

Yes there is - three skylark chicks in their nest

At first glance there was nothing to see at the bottom of the rainbow, but the treasure lay hidden. I parted the grass and there it was, a brood of three skylark chicks, all warm and cosy, and keeping still and quiet to hide from me, a potential predator.

A brood of three, well feathered with still some wisps of down

I closed the grass up over them and left them to it. They would fledge in a day or so, scattering through the grass to separate hiding places for safety, and their parents would fly to each in turn to feed them until they became independent - a further strategy for protection from predators. Ground-nesting birds need to be cautious.

It's the eye that breaks the camouflage

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