Two rarities for the price of one

28864_2 - Wryneck vs Dartford Warbler - 2012 Re-edit

It’s a personal guarantee that if you spend enough time immersed in nature then sooner or later you’ll experience one of those moments which makes you sit back and think wow, did that really just happen? We’ve been fortunate over the years to have enjoyed that adrenaline kick more than once ourselves but one particular encounter stands out above all others.

Back in 2012 we were walking the Pembrokeshire coast path from Strumble Head to Tal-y-Gaer and, being October, talk inevitably turned to rare migrants and our thus far complete lack of success in turning up anything of note. In fact I had just broached the subject of Wryneck’s when a bird shot out of the Gorse ahead before circling and vanishing into the undergrowth once more. I knew what I thought I’d seen but no, it couldn’t be, could it? Searching intently soon had the culprit once more in view and blow me if it wasn’t my first ever self found Wryneck! Seldom is life so perfectly timed.

Creeping closer I managed to get into a good position for photography, baring in mind that at the time my gear was somewhat limited, and already had a couple of semi-decent images in the bag. All the while though I could hear this frantic alarm call from somewhere nearby when, and I can still scarcely believe this some six years later, a Dartford Warbler hopped into view and proceeded to give our Wryneck a piece of its mind. For just a split second both birds were close enough to fit in a single frame and this week’s Sunday Showcase is the result.

That wasn’t to be the end of our Wryneck encounter either but for the full account why not head over to my original account of the day here.


Sunday Showcase is an opportunity to revisit a few of my favourite images. Some will have been published here previously whilst others will be freshly liberated from my vast back catalogue. All have memories attached and each week I’ll be sharing those stories with you.


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