At midday today (7th Sept) I spotted a wryneck investigating an old ants nest in a flowerbed eighteen feet from me. It stood for about ten seconds before retreating into cover, so I had a good view. After it flew off I went to the spot and saw several probe marks in the damp earth where it had been searching for ants. My garden is about half an acre facing onto woodland and backed by open fields. aren't these birds rare in the west of England? Jim Hendrick, TA4 4DS
Nice one! They are rare but regular migrants in Somerset in autumn, and after a big arrival on the east coast a couple of weeks ago quite a few are now filtering down our way (two on Portland today, for instance). They also always seem to have a particular liking for private gardens!
More Wryneck news - one found in front garden of 31 Estuary Park, Combwich by Rog Musgrove while delivering the post this morning. Not only not the first one he's found while working, but amazingly not even a first for that garden! News went out on Twitter and it's been looked for by several people since, but no further sign - however, it was apparently seen by residents yesterday in the front garden of number 34, so it's probably still around somewhere.
Another one just reported in a Curry Mallet garden on Saturday afternoon but not since.
The Combwich Wryneck popped up again in front of Rog this morning, this time in Kiln Close, just off Estuary Park. But unfortunately wasn't showing a short time later when I arrived hot foot from Wall Common. It's still there somewhere, but rather elusive.
A Wryneck today (Friday) at Lilstock it was feeding on the short turf along the coast path west of the track from car park 20 metres before the lookout tower.