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September 2017

Monday, 4 September 2017

September Bird of the Month - Wryneck

September Bird of the Month - Wryneck

Its cryptic colouring means that the wryneck is well-camouflaged in its chosen habitat and is therefore often overlooked. It can resemble a barred warbler or red-backed shrike in flight. It used to breed in old orchards in Britain where it nested in existing holes in trees and its territorial raptor-like piping call could be heard ringing out.

Sexes are similar with pale, barred under parts which are flushed yellow-buff on the throat and flanks. The dark stripes through the eye and down the crown, nape and centre of the back are particularly noticeable, though the crown stripe is less distinct in juveniles.

The bird's strange name came about from the occasional habit of twisting its neck, snake-like, and even hissing when disturbed.

Migrants favour areas of short-turf with scattered bramble patches and your best hope of catching up with this much-prized bird is to visit the south or east coastal areas of England in September. Your chances will be increased particularly during or just after periods of easterly or south-easterly wind.

Click on the url link below to see a video compilation of Wryneck calling and 'wrynecking'.