Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stapleford, Herts - Wryneck

There's certain birds that you just have to see.  I had joked about not having WRYNECK on my life list and had hoped that this would be the year that I would eventually see one.

The last few days had seen an influx of drift migrants propelled by an easterly onshore breeze depositing a decent number of Wryneck onto coastal areas with a large proportion of these in eastern and southern counties.

Yesterday a report came in of a rare inland sighting at Stapleford in Herts, which was interesting as one was seen at the same location last year.  It was also close by, but not close enough for an excursion using public transport.

Well that's what I thought.

Last night was a bit boozy, a night out in Camden and with a few pale ales consumed, I felt a bit jaded this morning.  With the bird still present, and finding out that Stapleford was a few miles from Hertford East station, I jammed onto the train with my bike.

Eventually finding the location, there were grown men staring at bushes.  For thoroughly appropriate reasons of course where the bird was eventually located skulking deep within the scrub, the majority of its body and tail obscured but parts of the grey scaly mantle visible, as were it's head, ochre throat, and underside.  It remained there for around five minutes without ever breaking cover.

A decision was made to flush the bird from the bushes, which in hindsight was a poor idea as the bird flew low out of sight and was not seen again.

Also on site were a flyover Hobby, five Red Kite, six Common Buzzard, two Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, around 20 Swallow, a Migrant Hawker, two Speckled Wood, Small Heath, and a smart Brown Argus.

Not perfect for a lifer, but far from disappointing.

It's in there somewhere

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