Friday, October 15, 2004

Another Wryneck photo

Wryneck, Langtoft, Lincolnshire, 10.10.04.
I found this photo and, though it was from a week ago and I've already posted a few pix, thought it would be nice to share it...
I agree with the wise words of my friend Steve 'Toadsnatcher' Dudley, that this was a particularly special bird. I have watched Wrynecks in many different countries since 1980. I've seen them hopping around in people's gardens in France and Italy and Spain, and found a few nests in Japan (complete with begging young). But I've never enjoyed such a confiding individual, which just got on with the untroubled business of digging for ants. After refinding the bird at 7.30am, losing it again in the car-park, then stumbling upon it almost at my feet, I was hooked.
So, when I got the opportunity to return later in the day, I spent some time watching it in feeding action. When moving, it combined Green Woodpecker-like hops with a Chaffinch-like waddle, and was really prepared to get stuck-in Yaffle-style when it came to digging for its grub. Occasionally it was flay on the ground, reptile-style, and at other times held its tail up like a passerine. Some people came past at one stage with kite-driven skate-boards, and it just looked up, sat-up still and confidently thought: "I am invisible, half-hidden in the grass, and after all I am the colour of bark and lichen".
For more photos of this bird check out some of the websites on the right (Toadsnatcher, Bogbumper and The Natural Stone and the PBC gallery). The Natural Stone even goes as far as including a superb video of the Wryneck in action, which comes highly recommended.

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