I took the opportunity of a bright morning, and fewer people around to get a bit closer to the Wryneck, if it was still around. In the days when they were a comparatively common bird in Kent they had the local name of Cuckoo's mate as the two arrived in spring at about the same time. Other country names for this strange bird are "Snake-bird", "tongue-bird, "writheneck" and "summer-bird", It is a great shame that the last is no longer true.
Although I walked down the path very slowly, looking for movement in the grass I was surprised, as was the Wryneck, when it flew up from just about two feet away and landed in a small bush not far away.
I wasn't long before it was on the path and feeding. Wrynecks are great ant-eaters, but I couldn't see any ants in the grass, I presume it will eat any small insects that are around.
Each time a jogger or walker came by it took flew to a nearby bush and sometimes used its time preening.
The cryptic pattern is one of the most striking of all our birds. It is only when it hops along the ground that its similarity to the other woodpecker becomes noticeable.
When it flew down again it was sometimes quite hard to follow as it frequently wandered of into the longer grass.