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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Wryneck at Holme This Evening!

WRYNECK
Holme Dunes NWT

Wryneck at Holme Dunes NWT
Phone-scoped video with iphone 5s & Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD & 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece


I just couldn't resist! I was absolutely shattered, but whilst I am on a roll with birds, I decided to try and nail the Wryneck at Holme this evening after work.

Parked up at the 5-bar gate along the Firs Road and spent a long time searching. 3 Wheatears, lots of Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler reeling, Linnets, a Cuckoo and lots of hirundines flying through. The Wryneck has been very elusive today and some birders had given up and left. I bumped into birder Chris Ward who also hadn't seen it and then joined up with local birder Phil Amies. Even Robin Joliffe (excellent birder who lives yards away) hadn't seen it – this did not bode well! After having a chat, we were just about to give up, when two birders arrived and then walked passed us, further east of the NWT Forestry – we all said we would wave if we found the Wryneck.

As Phil, Chris and I proceeded to walk back, I continuously turned round to look at the two birders – I know the body language, the sudden movement, the erecting of tripod legs and intent looks... it was looking good and I informed Chris and Phil that I was sure they had the Wryneck. Moments later one of the two birders waved at us and off we went!

 Gary Prescott – 'The Biking Birder'

Wryneck at Holme Dunes NWT 
Phone-scoped video with iphone 5s & Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD & 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece

Phone-scoped picture with iphone 5s & Swarosvski ATS 65mm HD & 25-50xW Zoom Eyepiece

   
We had fabulous views of that magical Wryneck feeding on the narrow path – very shady, so no awesome pictures obtained, but got some nice phone-scoped video. The Wryneck also landed in a bramble in full sunshine, but I wasn't close enough for sharp shots. If I had been on my own, I would have stalked carefully and hopefully got some cracking shots, but you can't go walking in front of anyone to do that – discourteous to your fellow birders. So a handful of us enjoyed watching this stunning bird including Richard Thewlis who is a wildlife artist and was painting the wryneck as we watched and his friend and artist John who both found the Wryneck for us – Chris, Phil and also met the famous Gary Prescott Biking Birder! nice to meet you. One other birder with us, but can't remember his name. I was so glad I came out this evening now, I had nearly given up, huge thanks to Richard and John for finding it. We watched the Wryneck until 8.30pm when it flew to bushes to roost. Grasshopper Warbler reeling on/off as I walked back to my car.

3 comments:

  1. Lovely...
    iconic bird for me, the Wryneck...
    when I was in forestry, I managed to see one in the "classic" end of dead branch pose....
    since then, views like yours...
    hopping around on the ground...
    including, a couple of years back, in our potager...
    visible and photographed from the back door.

    And talking of back doors...
    we've had a Short-toed Eagle hanging around for a couple of days...
    there is a lot of haymaking going on at the moment....
    and I think it is on the lookout for disturbed snakes...
    and anything else.
    The first spot was when the crows at the end of the poplar plantation started "machine gunning"...
    a certain sign that there is a raptor around...
    usually one of the pair of Buzzards...
    looked up towards the poplars and this huge raptor was gliding low...
    into the trees...
    it didn't get a chance to settle...
    the corvids went in on the attack.
    It left....

    Then we saw it circling on a thermal...
    with the two crows and the buzzard pair...
    truce called over this...
    keeping station below.
    Got some record shots that helped with ident...

    The appearances over our heads occured about every three to four hours...
    so it must have been combing a large area.
    But only the buzzards reacted after the first showing...
    with one, or the pair, going up to "meet & greet"...

    They are known to breed locally....
    but this was the first time that either of us had knowingly seen one so regularly.

    We didn't get as much done as we'd have liked in the potager...
    but, that's nature for you...
    life sometimes gets in the way!
    Glad you decided not to let it...
    and managed to see that always elusive Wryneck!!

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  2. It was great to meet up again at Holme and thank you so much for helping to find the Wryneck. With your help, I finally found my 40+ years 'bogey bird' and what better place to find it and in such great company. It was a special evening and hopefully we'll meet again, probably hunting another rare or maybe even Mega bird soon!!
    Chris

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chris! Ditto! Glad you saw the Wryneck, so pleased for you. Also congratulations on getting your picture in the RBA Weekly Review! We met some interesting people that night, artists, biking birders et al! Send me your email if you would like a copy of the video to pennyclarke @dsl.pipex.com

      Best Wishes Penny

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