Friday, 17 April 2015

Observing Ring Ouzels

There's been a large influx of ring ouzels this spring, with small flocks at many locations, for example 20 on the Great Orme, Llandudno a week or so ago. When I heard of 11 on Pendle Hill this morning, not far from where I was working, it seemed a good opportunity to call in on my way home to join in with the "Ring ouzel experience"!

Of course you don't just "call in" at Pendle Hill, there's the small matter of climbing it as well, but though it can be tough when you're carrying a scope, tripod and camera, the difficulties are over  exaggerated I think. In any case, personally I wouldn't dream of carrying a scope and tripod up Pendle Hill, why make life difficult I say! Binoculars and my small camera are all I take.....

I did go to the summit just for a quick look around (no sign of any dotterel yet), but most of the action was in a field on the opposite side of the track to the land slip. There were ring ouzels aplenty, and in the end I counted at least 11, as well as a few wheatears. They were quite a varied bunch, and it was interesting to see so many together and be able to compare them.

Year: 184 (Ring ouzel). Actually these on Pendle Hill were not my first this year. I found one near my car as I was packing up to leave the job.

A nice male but not as scaley as some males and where is the pale panel in the wing? This just looks like a blackbird with a white crescent.

Same bird as above.

A dark grey and very scaley looking young female.

An adult female. Dark grey not black like the male, and not brown like a female blackbird.

Male (above) with female (below), This looks a different male than the first two photos,  it doesn't have a particularly pale wing panel, but it does look a bit more scaley underneath.

Two males. The one above has a paler wing panel, and perhaps also white speckling on its head? Could be a trick of the photo I suppose.

Male with pale wing panel and scaley flanks.

Male and female

A nice patch of Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus which just happens to have a male wheatear standing on it!

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