|It would make a lovely Christmas card|
Five days have passed since I found the Wryneck and the bird is still knocking around the SSSI area (although aloof a times) but still keeping loyal to the original Hawthorn tree I found it in. I’ve since returned to the area on a couple of occasions but have failed to see the bird again – showing how difficult these majestic little birds can be.
I bumped in to Lee G Evans on Sunday afternoon who had already dipped six Wrynecks this year and was already writing this bird off as number seven! I later found out he finally caught up with it after I’d left, adding to his ever growing year list. He made an interesting comment when I was chatting to him “You don’t find Wrynecks, they find you!” True in many cases but wrong in this case! Many Wrynecks are flushed or accidentally spooked from the ground but this bird was just perched up in a tree – remarkable! The bloke who found this must be a top, top birder – wrong! Lady luck was on my side that morning and any one of the Wanstead regulars could have found this bird - Stuart was standing next to me at the time I found it! Tim and Jono live just across the road, Nick does the patch most days and there are others, all more than worthy birders who could have laid claim to the bird - it just happened to be my day.
The most pleasing thing for me was the bird stuck, and everyone I know has seen it - plus a lot of people I don’t.
Many years ago as a spotty, skinny teenager (how things have changed) I found a spring Wryneck on my then local patch Wat Tyler Country Park at Pitsea and the big difference between then and now is despite much searching, nobody else saw that bird - leaving several of the local birders slightly miffed! There were even murmurings that I might have just seen a juvenile Starling!! Isn’t it amazing what some birders say and think if they don’t see or find a particular bird especially when it comes to local patches? I’m pleased to say that I’ve received nothing but handshakes and pats on the back from the regular Wanstead patch workers (Jono’s even offered to buy me a pint – I’ll wait to see if that ever comes to fruition) showing what a great team of birders we have in the area.
Guys, here’s to the next good bird….Bluethroat anyone??