Monday 21 October 2019

Ring Ouzel

I was lucky to get this record shot of today's male Ring Ouzel which spent most of its time buried deep in a  hedgerow. This is a scarce bird on Orcombe Point with my last being on October 14th 2015!
Busy bird-wise again today. Being half-term week I was able to get out twice - 0720 - 0950 and again mid-afternoon. A cold northerly breeze greeted me at dawn and the cloud never cleared. Totals included 1 Ring Ouzel, c60+ Pied Wagtail, 6 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 11+ Chiffchaff, 5 Reed Bunting, 5+ Goldcrest, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Golden Plover, 14+ Chaffinch, c35+ Goldfinch, 1500+ Woodpigeon, 3 Linnet, c70+ Meadow Pipit, 21+ Stock Dove, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Kestrel, 4 Starling, c100+ Jackdaw, c10+ Skylark, 2+ Siskin, at least 1 Ring-necked Parakeet, 2 or 3 Raven, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1+ Grey Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 8 Sandwich Tern and 30+ Common Scoter.
Off Mudbank - 1 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 3 Lapwing and 40+ Pale-bellied Brent Goose of note.
Here is the stretch of uninspiring hedgerow that sheltered the Ring Ouzel. As you can see it's on a piece of farmland (farmed exclusively for dairy cattle) and it's probably about a mile from the sea (you can just make out Warren Point in the background). I think it's a shame to read online that car-loads of birders are trooping up to Dartmoor to see the well-publicised Emsworthy or Shipley birds (the planet doesn't need the Carbon Dioxide). Imagine if all those birders went and checked their nearest stretch of coastline to try and find their own - it's far more satisfying and just what might get discovered?

The first proper movement of Woodpigeon today. I counted 1500+ in the first couple hours of daylight.

Still at least 40 Pale-bellied Brent Geese with c700+ Dark-bellied birds off Mudbank.

Many of the Wigeon are looking smart now.


  1. Agree completely with your comment re the Ouzel twitching Matt. One of the first decent birds I ever found at Beer Head was a Ring Ouzel. Quite unexpected, and such a buzz. Since that single, I've had up to 8 together there. I'd recommend the find-your-own route every time!

  2. Hi Gavin - yep a very special bird. This one was in a rarely-checked corner of my patch. It makes you wonder just how many slip through undetected. I guess the down-side to not chasing other peoples' birds is you can go four years without seeing a Ring Ouzel!! All the best. Matt