The first one is a great portrait, Alan.Skylark numbers have dramatically declined and the bird is on the red list as endangered. We have a local meadow where they are active, fortunately. They live hidden on the ground, and soar, hover and sing. Here are some more shots, from the 400 DO II `+ 1.4xTC on the 5DSR. The one on the wing is actually in flight and not hovering, showing once again the 5DSR is pretty competent for BIF.
Well, I was resting on a bench in botanical garden (warming up for today's shooting). That Shama came on a branch right above me. I move carefully few steps away and take a shot. When I check it I realized that moving few more steps I would be with that grass as a background. Didn't figure out why the bird is staying so close, and non stop talking something to me (I do not want to hear the translation from that language) until I notice a fledgling in the nearby bush. Now you know my secret how to sneak to the birds (something very similar to the story Private told us page ago -961)! Sometimes one gets lucky - they come to you...You sneaked up close for that one!