It also gave Dave the chance to drive by the Lloyd's building in Durrington and point out the Peregrines on the building. I drive past there regularly but had never managed to see them and had accused Dave of not knowing the difference between a Peregrine and a Pigeon. Previous attempts to prove me wrong had failed but this time I had to admit defeat it was definitely a Peregrine sitting on top of the black horse sign eating his breakfast.
|Peregrine Falcon and breakfast - the close up is a bit gruesome|
On the walk through the gallops at Findon we spotted an obliging Whinchat. A bit annoying given how far I had walked the previous day looking for them.
The directions for the Wryneck were easy to follow but we were a bit surprised that there were not more birders searching the target area. We were starting to think that we could have made a mistake when we spotted Russ Tofts up ahead and he had already located the bird. It was quite close and we had the chance of a couple of quick shots before it retreated to the far side of the field.
We then spent a couple of hours watching it sunning itself on the fence and dropping down to the ground to feed, all the while hoping it would come a bit closer. As we watched the heat haze was slowly increasing and the quality of the pictures gradually reducing until around lunch time it disappeared from sight, probably to find shelter in one of the bushes. The following are only record shots but they are the best from around one hundred and fifty almost identical shots that I took. Just as well that the we have moved on from film cameras.
It proved to be quite a good spot for birding. There were the usual Willchaffs on display and a number of Redstarts in the bushes. You just had to be prepared for inquisitive horses nudging you just as you are about to take the shot or trying to eat your rucksack or shirt.
A successful day as far as a year tick for the Wryneck goes but I cannot help feeling that it was a missed opportunity on the photography front. Still if you got the perfect shot first time every time there would be very little to look forward to.