Thursday, 10 September 2009

Cuckoos' Mate

After finished my moth traps, a short job this morning (it must have been very cold last night), I went down to look at the sea. After only a few minutes and even fewer birds I decided to relocate to Bockhill Farm. In the car park I noticed Jack and Simon's cars, but on failing to contact them by phone or radio I decided they were probably in a "dead"area at hope point. A walk to Little Green seemed in order.

After I passed a very quiet Hope point I saw a Lesser Whitethroat in a small bush with a larger bird behind it. They both flew out and into the trees that run along the side of Hope Bay Studio garden. All week I'd been saying that I wanted to find a Wryneck in the Paddock, this was the wrong place but I suspected I had the right bird. I could see some movement in the bush and a mixture of grey stripes and spots seemed to be adding up. Finally I got a clear view. I decided to try and contact Jack and Simon again. My phone thought it was in France and in any case there was no connection when I dialed their numbers. I hadn't yet taken my camera out (all the photos were taken a few minutes later). I left the bird and dashed (a euphamisn for walked as fast as I could) onto the golf course where I knew there was some signal. A hurried call to them and Bird Line South East and then back to look for the bird.

I was relieved when I found it almost in the same place that I' d left it. Finally it moved in to a open area and I watched it for a few minutes, but it kept its tail amongst the leaves the whole time!

I did exactly what it's name says it should and twisted its neck round. Then if flew and for a few seconds I thought I'd lost it, but it only moved a few yards into a thicket with tree full of sloes. I don't not if they would each berries and fruit on migration, but there were a lot of insects there as well and I hoped it would stay.

It moved into a hawthorn and I was now able to see more of the bird. I stayed as far back as possible so as not to disturb it (not too far back with a 200 ft drop behind me!).

I could now see Jack and Simon coming down the hill after their walk on St Margaret's Lees. At the got about halfway down the Wryneck pooped to the top and looked around and then flew to a group of conifers a hundred meters towards Hope point. Although I saw it land I wasn't able to relocate it and despite searching it remained gone missing when I left. I will probably have gone to the dense scrub at Hope point when others have vanished for hours on end.

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