When a Wryneck turned up at Boddam on Friday I thought it would disappear as quickly as it came. Next day I was informed that it was still in the same place so we made our way over and located the bird straight away, feeding among the seaweed.
Now Wrynecks are not normally known for feeding in this habitat, but are normally found in sunny open woodland in Europe. It no longer breeding in England but may still be present and breeding in small numbers in North East Scotland.
Although part of the woodpecker family it does not climb tree trunks or drum. At first glance it looks like a small brown bird, bigger than the house sparrows that were also feeding in the seaweed. When threaten it defends its self with snaking twisting movements of the neck -hence the name.
The plumage is patterned like lichen in a grey brown colour with dark bands along the head and back. The tail is relatively long and has a short bill. It spends a lot of time in trees well camouflaged but also comes onto the ground to feed, hopping around.
On Monday I took another look not expecting the bird to be present but it was and seemed content feeding on insects it found in the seaweed. It was very confiding hence the photos. On Monday no other birder were present, not a thing that would happen in England.
I still have a lot of photos to process and with a limited amount of space on my laptop hard drive. Hopefully soon I will be able to down load several hundred photos including the Night Heron I photographed at Raewick in April