Friday, 24 September 2010

Wendover Wryneck

I'm extremely busy with work at the moment, so when a very showy Wryneck turned up at Bacombe Hill near Wendover this week I had desperately been trying to find a window to get out and see it.
As I left the house this morning it started pouring down with rain,so that was enough for me to give up on work and decide to go for it.
Arriving at the site I met up with Dunstable birder Francis Buckle who had also been unable to get there before today.
Things didn't look good when we met 2 birders leaving the site, saying they had been there quite some time and there was no sign. Meanwhile the rain continued and the wind was blowing cold and strong.
Some 40 minutes passed and it was starting to look like the bird had moved on, until Francis shouted out he had seen it fly into a tree. We looked for a couple of minutes until it flew down onto the ground a little way away. It was surprising then how long it took us to actually find the bird even knowing where it had landed, but when we did what a fantastic bird it was. Views were had down to less than 10 yards and we watched it feeding out in the open for at least half an hour before another heavy shower arrived and we beat a retreat.
I have put my photos on this post, as its not often you manage to photograph a Wryneck ( you'll obviously have to click on them twice to get a decent view ), but Francis has sent me some of his much better photos and as soon as I sort them out I'll put them on here.

As I still had some time before starting work in the afternoon -it had cleared up by now - I called in at Willen.
The North Lake held a reasonable amount of ducks with Mallard, Tufted Gadwall, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal present but nothing else of much note.
I then took a walk around to the South Lake where lots of Swallows and House Maartins were feeding over the water. It was while looking at these that I noticed 4 slightly larger birds higher up. ... Black Terns. I watched them while they flew around for a bit, but obviously decided they weren't going to stay and drifted off South-West.

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