Wryneck - Jynx torquilla

    Description

    The Wryneck is a small woodpecker just slightly larger than a sparrow - appearing greyish overall, with brown and buff mottling. They have a contrasting dark band running down from the back of the head onto the back.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    The Wryneck is still a regular autumn migrant in small numbers mainly to sites near eastern and southern coasts, and a few are also seen each spring. Occasionally seen in gardens in autumn.

    When to see it

    Best looked for on autumn passage in August and September but can be seen in spring, usually May.

    Life History

    They feed almost exclusively on ants and, unlike most other woodpeckers, are seen mainly on the ground and do not often climb up vertical trunks or branches.

    UK Status

    Very uncommon in Britain with birds of passage usually less than 300.

    VC55 Status

    A very rare visitor to Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map