Ground Nesting Birds
Skylarks and meadow pipits are rare birds that can be found at different sites across Greensand Country, such as at Clophill Lakes. Both species nest on the ground and so are very vulnerable to being disturbed by dogs running through the vegetation.
Both species have been declining in numbers nationally since the 1970s – the skylark is on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern while the meadow pipit is on the Amber List.
Both are small, streaky brown birds that are beautifully camouflaged for nesting in grassland.
The skylark (seen in the print) is slightly larger and is famous for the males’ beautiful song. They nest in a small hollow on the ground which they line with grasses, leaves and hair and can have two or three broods a year.
Meadow pipits (seen in the photograph) tend to tuck their nests away in grass tussocks. Their song is much less dramatic than that of the skylark but the male has a very distinctive parachuting display flight.
To protect the habitats of these ground nesting birds, it is vital to keep dogs on leads and to keep to way marked rights of way.