While working on Lapwings in Seewinkel national park, I found a Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) on a gravel road, right beside a small Lapwing colony near Neufeldlacke.
The bird was singing gently from the ground, sometimes chasing away the Skylarks (Alauda arvensis) frequently flying by or entering its territory. Every few minutes it took off, ascending to around 20 m height from where it sang shortly as well. Then it landed on a nearby broken up field to feed for a few minutes, just to return to the singing post again. The bird repeated this procedure several times, when it suddenly took off around 8.40 a.m. and disappearedy to the south-west.
I turned my attention to the Lapwings again. After about half an hour, I heard a song from the sky above me – undoubtedly of a lark but unkown to me. Looking out of the car window, I saw the Calandra Lark again, just dropping in the pasture to my right where I watched it for another few minutes.
This is the 16th record of Calandra Lark for Austria if accepted by the AFK and the first one to be seen in March. Of the previous 15 records, 14 are from April to June and only one bird was discovered in the end of September. Following two records in 1966, it is the third record of the species from the Seewinkel region.