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Lark of some sort --- Almeria, Spain (1 Viewer)

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
I saw this lark whilst out walking in a very dry area covered in spiky shrubs. It was hovering in the air, with fast wingbeats whilst singing a fast and loud song. I saw Thekla's larks in the same place today, but this bird wasn't making the caracteristic 'pu-pu--puii' call of a TH. L, and I have never seen one hovering, so I'm not sure what it is. Any ideas?

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Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Yeah, after looking onto it for a bit it looks like it was a skylark. The song matches what I heard, and, like PW23 said, the hovering behaviour is caracteristic of a skylark and the habitat is correct.

Thanks! That's a lifer for me!

J.
 

PW23

Well-known member
tail looks too short for eurasian skylark, a Galerida sp. for me.
Fair point Lou. Thought it might be the angle myself and was swayed by field observations of loud fast song and hovering. Difficult to make a call on the photo alone, but Joseph's confirmation of the song match sounds compelling.
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
Fair point Lou. Thought it might be the angle myself and was swayed by field observations of loud fast song and hovering. Difficult to make a call on the photo alone, but Joseph's confirmation of the song match sounds compelling.
true. it might be the angle.
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
You guys are right about the tail-length dilemma, but I think it is actually longer than it seems based on the photo. For a start, the bird was a fair distance away from me in the air (not so far that I couldn't hear it's loud call and see its hovering flight) and the photo was taken at an angle. Also, the photo is heavily cropped so there may be some pixelation problems distorting the image slightly.

Here is another photo I took on the day, I had forgotten about it beacause I thought the previous photo would have been more useful (you can see the length of the tail a bit better):

100OLYMP.JPG
 

TringBirder

Well-known member
Looks like a Galerida sp. to me based on the second photo. It looks too short-tailed and broad-winged for a Eurasian Skylark. Also I would expect to be able to see the white trailing edge to the wings if it was a Eurasian Skylark. Here is a Eurasian Skylark for comparison - taken in Britain.

Cheers

Roy
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Its one of those threads I looked when only the first picture was there, and decided that the picture presented was not enough for a confident ID for me (I got the feeling that a "single picture effect" could point in a wrong direction, and this seems to be proven by the second picture).
I even thought, a Greater Short-toed Lark was possible, they sing during display flights like Skylark. But with the new picture, I agree with a Thekla Lark/Crested Lark.
Crested Lark can do display song flights, allthough not as frequent as Skylark, so I think Thekla does this too?
Reason for the last sentence: Crested Lark is a species, I have seen many times and is a species I see several times in the week over the last few years. And when I am looking at this pictures, I get a very slightly wrong feeling for this bird, that hasnt gone (In other words, I would say it loooks best for a Galerida, but just about 80% Crested Lark.
So my question to more experienced people is (John Cantello or others, please help!): is this a Thekla, that can be identified with a high grade of certainty against Crested, from slight differences, that are visible in these two pictures?
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Well, based on everyone's opinions, it seems to be almost certainly a Galerida sp., which is a bit of a shame since I was hoping it was a skylark, but I'd much rather have a correct ID for this bird than an uncertain lifer.

Both crested and Thekla's larks are very common in the area, and the only way that I manage to differentiate them is through the call. I'll admit that I had never seen this sort of behaviour in either species, but this may well just be a a lack of experience and field-time from my part.

Thanks for the info so far guys!
 

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