Snake Bird!

Tuesday 6th September comments: One of the migrant birds which arrived on the island over the weekend was a Wryneck. These unusual birds are members of the woodpecker family and get their names from the ability to twist their heads almost 180 degrees! Like all woodpeckers they have long tongues for feeding on insects (Wrynecks rather enjoy eating ants) whilst they also have two toes pointing forward and two back.

Wrynecks are scarce visitors to the UK and can be seen in both spring and autumn, especially along the east and south coast if winds are favourable. However in recent years Wrynecks have been noticeable by their absence as they were recorded every year on the island from 1992-2016 apart from four years (2003, 2009, 2011 and 2013). However since one arrived on 9th May 2016 there have been none since! Its’ been a long six year vigil but finally the wait was over at the weekend as one was discovered on Rona. The bird then relocated to the main part of the island and has enjoyed feasting on ant’s ever since.

It’s a wonderful addition to the islands year list (the total number of species we record on an annual basis) and glad we have them back.

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