Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Wryneck.

During the latter half of the 19th century Mitchell described the Wryneck in Lancashire as almost extinct, though formerly common and described by him as then having a fairly widespread distribution. Although nesting had occurred during the 20th century, the birds status was now a rare summer vagrant. There is a record of a nest with six eggs found in Heaton Park, Manchester in June 1912, the eggs from this nest were taken by a 'nasty piece of work' who was an egg collector. In our own area in North Lancashire, Oakes reports of a Wryneck at Heysham in September 1908, and another/the same bird the following month at Overton in October. Forty years later Oakes notes another Wryneck in Yealand Conyers in March 1948.

Spring occurrences in Lancashire are rare with only four having been added to the record of a nest with seven fresh eggs found at Winmarleigh in June 1948 which represents the last breeding record in the county, though the aforementioned nest with six eggs at Heaton Park is mentioned.

As a modern birder I find it difficult to comprehend that the Wryneck once bred commonly in Lancashire and this species isn't alone in this with the Red-backed Shrike immediately coming to mind. But hey, with a late bird found at Cockersands in October 1995 theres always the possibility of a seventeenth anniversary bird turning up here in October 2012. I'm off....see you in November!! 

And now a trio of outstanding 'photographs with a difference', two birds - three actually - and a butterfly, followed by a video....

Dipper David Cookson

An amazing picture with a difference, the Dipper flying over a fast running stream/river with a heavy swell. A photograph oozing with wow factor. Thanks David.

Ringed Plover Martin Jump

So what's going on here then, something is between these two Ringed Plover, a battle of words by the looks of it. Another picture with a difference....Thanks Martin. 

Mountain Apollo Noushka Dufort

OK, so I'm saying it again....another picture with a difference. The worst summer in this country in a hundred years or not, you was never going to see one of these stunning Mountain Apollo butterflies here. Stunningly photographed too....Thanks Noushka.

Watch the video below and see the comments on Colin Bushells Blog 

Birding in hope!


Christian said...

Oh, how I'd love to be able to see a Wryneck in Lancashire! A superb image. Love the photos with a difference!

Warren Baker said...

What a tease ! Ive now got to go to the blog and see what happens with the Kingfisher!!

Warren Baker said...

............It seems the Kingfisher lives on :-)

Marc Heath said...

Great video and a stunning header.

Pete Woodruff said...

Christian/Warren/Marc, thanks.

The Merlin wasn't up to the job for some reason or other in my view.

Yes, the Wryneck photograph is stunning Marc.

Colin Bushell said...

Hi Pete. Thanks for publishing the Merlin vs Kingfisher post. Seems to have raised quite a bit of interest to say the least. I only wish I could find more to read on this feisty little falcon.

Noushka said...

Interesting again!
A friend of mine sees one or two each year in her garden in the South of France.
Here is the link, if you wish to see her photography:

Thanks for posting one of my pictures, Pete, much appreciated!
Keep well!

Pete Woodruff said...


I'm on the lookout for Merlin books, definitely no monologue on the bird though.


Will be taking a look at the link. The thanks are all mine for your images, and Colin's video.