Saturday, 29 August 2009

A Much, Much Better Beer Head Experience.

After last Saturday's horrid dip, I was determined not to make the same mistake again today and so was up on Beer Head by 6.30. There were a few bits and bobs about including a good count of 26 Wheatears, a single flyover Tree Pipit, numerous Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Willowchiffs and seven lovely Yellow Wagtails. The MASSIVE highlight though was a Beer Head first, a Wryneck!! And luckily when Ian Waite found it I was only one field away. Interestingly Ian M and I had just spent fifteen minutes at the very same bushes and had seen virtually nothing, Gav had looked them over a short while earlier too, which just goes to show that it's always worth another look! It was only my second Wryneck ever, my first had been three years ago on the tramline at dusk.

Anyway the bird showed well, if only for very brief periods at first and after about 30 minutes or so appeared to have flown off. I hadn't got my scope with me (note to self: stop being so lazy-take your scope!!) so missed out on the opportunity to digiscope it, or indeed get a really good view. I did try to take a photo with my S3 but the results were shocking.

Now that's what I call a record shot!

Whilst at home having some brunch I heard from Steve that it was back in the same place. I dropped everything and rushed back with my scope (this time I forgot my bins! Duh!) I didn't need them as it happens and was soon enjoying fantastic scope views. Brilliant! It was feeding on the ground for quite long periods and even perching on top of a nearby bush. What a truly stunning bird, real 'value for money' I found it very hard to tear myself away. Another plus factor is that everyone who twitched it saw it. I really wish more birds would be as obliging.

I did get some nice digiscoped shots this time and here are a few of them, does five constitute a few? Yes, I think so. It could so easily be ten!! :-)

Hunched up.

Hiding - "I'm a branch, really"

Doing 'Wrynecking'
What?!! How's it do that?

Showing BOTH its best sides. What a bostin' bird! :-)

Here's a little video of it feeding in the grass.

Even though I was watching the fabulous Wryneck I just couldn't help myself from digiscoping this 'ere Wheatear. It just HAD to be done.


Rambling Rob said...

A fascinating bird Karen - I've certainly never seen one of those. Great post.

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks Rob,

My photos don't really do the plumage justice, it's so intricately patterned and cryptic.I'll certainly never tire of looking at Wrynecks:)