Wryneck is a bird I have been walking a lot of miles for over the past few weeks, albeit without success. It was therefore a welcome surprise to hear of one found by John Atkins at Ferry Meadows CP, on the west side of Peterborough, this afternoon. Fortunately, Mike Weedon was with John when he picked it up and was able to confirm the ID and get the news out pretty much instantly.
The bird wasn't too shy, although was feeding on the copious number of anthills in an area of long grass and small, scrubby hawthorn and rose bushes, only occasionally popping up into view. In fact, as Wrynecks go, it was fairly confident, and would often happily perch only a few metres away (albeit rarely in full view!). However, this master of disguise's intricate plumage made it a challenge to pick up as it sat, often motionless, among the foliage.
It's funny how fortuitous rare bird finds can be. Had it not been for a party of co-operative Whinchats in the adjacent Long Meadow, which were being photographed by John and Mike when the Wryneck appeared, then it may never have been found at all. The Whinchats were very nice, as they always are, with one or two occasionally coming close enough for decent shots.
The end of August and opening days of September produced one of the richest spells for passage waders on my patch for the past few years at least, with a couple of Curlew Sandpipers lingering for nine days, accompanied at times by Knot, Ruff, Wood, Common and Green Sandpipers, Dunlin, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, and Spotted Redshank. The best part about it all was that most birds showed pretty well, especially the calidrids, giving some brilliant photo opportunities at times.
Only the second Black Tern of the year dropped in for the day on 5 September. This species is more or less nailed on as a spring visitor, but for whatever reason autumn records are significantly scarcer – this is the first autumn bird I've had since moving back to Lincolnshire in 2020.
The musings of a wildlife enthusiast, usually armed with his camera.