Shore larks at Holkham Gap

After visiting Titchwell on New Year’s Eve we dropped into Holkham and visited ‘Holkham Gap’ in search of a flock of Shore Larks. Shore Larks are very rare visitors to Britain – they breed in mountains in Europe and in the far north on tundra on open ground but a few birds get to Britain and winter on the East coast – Holkham Gap is a favourite spot for them.

Holkham Gap is an amazing and huge area of salt marsh and sand dunes. Here it is at low tide – when the tide comes in it reaches the place where the people are walking. This picture doesn’t give a good impression of the size of the place – when the tide is out it is thousands of acres in extent and the distance from low water to high water is approaching a mile!

saltmarsh-and-duneAcross the salt marsh – a favourite place for birds to feed on the salt marsh plant seeds

holkham-sunsetWhen we arrived the sun was beginning to set

We quickly (and perhaps unexpectedly) found the flock of shore larks on the edge of the dunes – there were around 30 birds and they were quite flighty – I managed to snap a few pictures but it was rather dark and as a result the quality of the pictures is rather poor. However you can see the yellow and black face.

eremophila_alpestris_flava_blyth_5Here is a much better picture of a shore lark photographed at Blyth Harbour, Northumberland – via Wikimedia Commons (not one of my photos)
By MPF  [CC BY-SA 3.0 (

A very smart and distinctive bird – always a pleasure to see shore larks in Britain – a bird from a very remote part of the world visiting one of England’s few remaining huge, wild  and beautiful places




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