Saturday, 31 August 2013

Wryneck on the patch

The Wryneck crouches in dense cover in a doomed bid to avoid relocation.
Played an unusual game of hide and seek on the patch this morning - and finally won. Interesting migrants have been thin on the ground in Alexandra Park recently, other parts of London scoring more highly. That changed when Andrew Gardener flushed a Wryneck early doors from the ditch on the south side of the cricket pitches - a terrific find, although the bird promptly disappeared. Five of us scoured the area systematically over the next couple of hours and were close to giving up when I glimpsed a shape drop low into a willow from the other side of the cricket pitch; though very distant and a split-second view, something said this was going to be the bird. We rushed over, approached slowly and the Jynx was broken - out came a Wryneck. It perched on a nearby fence where everyone got to see it, before flying back closer to a hawthorn for even better views. We watched it on and off for 20 minutes or so before a Carrion Crow eventually flushed it, at which point I had to leave. Other species logged collectively on what proved to be an excellent day on the patch included Hobby, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whinchats, 2 Northern Wheatears and 4 Lesser Whitethroats. Let's hope that collection stays for tomorrow's guided bird walk and ringing demo in the park, which starts at 8am in The Grove.

Whinchat at the nearby location of Hampstead Heath, on 29 August. Two were in Alexandra Park today.

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