Posts Tagged ‘Ring Ousel


Through the square window

The end of the tax year saw me sitting at the laptop first thing this morning.

It was the song of a Blackcap that drew me to the window. Not my first for the year but always good to hear. Under the feeders was a Stock Dove. The iridescence around the neck  was absolutely glowing in the morning sunshine. I had to get my camera. As soon as I moved he flew up and away. I thought I’d set up the camera anyway just in case he came back; or maybe something else would put in an appearance.

I’d no sooner set up the tripod when an absolute carpet of Blackbirds landed in the garden. A spring movement north. Much to the consternation of the local birds that didn’t like interlopers on their patch. As I finished adjusting the camera I noticed something piebald land at the pond.

For the fourth year running Ring Ouzels have visited the pond here. Stunning birds these thrushes. I had a chance to fire off a few shots before the whole flock took off west.


Six Species

Two of four passage Ring Ousels in wet pasture up here on the coast last week. All very fine males. In fact there were six species of thrush in the same field … but my word were they flighty!

Ring Ousel


I couldn’t resist

When you spend a little time with such an enigmatic species like a Ring Ouzel it’s difficult to stop taking photographs. After the photo of the male I posted a few days ago I thought I’d pop up a shot of the female (type) that also came into the garden this week. However… I just couldn’t resist posting a few more of that corking male too. There’s just something about them that mystifies me.

Ring Ousel

Ring Ousel 1 Ring Ousel 2 Ring Ousel 3


Just so lucky

It’s awful isn’t it? That feeling of missing out can sometimes leave you immensely deflated.

Having seen Andy’s tweet saying he’d had a Ring Ouzel in the garden down the road I thought I’d better get out and see what else was planning to spend the rest of Wednesday evening here on the hill. As I walked from the door the clatter of a Ring Ouzel disappearing over the hedge and heading high to the west was enough to convince me I’d made the right decision.

Out onto the lane and a further three came from the trees and headed north. We had a fall of Rousels! They’re always so timid these thrushes. It’s hard to get close and the few shots I got of these birds were of their rear ends disappearing into the distance.

I walked for another half hour or so and was watching a cluster of Wheatear on the ploughed field when a text burst onto my phone. It was from Sharon. It read; ‘Female Ring Ouzel bathing in the pond’; Bugger!

My speed hastened and I got back soon after but it had gone. Photography opportunity missed. Despite a vigil looking out over the pond until dark just a Blackbird came into bathe. We’ve had Ring Ouzels in the garden before but never bathing in the pond and you could wait a lifetime for that to happen again. A moment not to be topped and it had passed me by. Not to worry, Sharon had seen it and she was happy.

It was only the following morning as I glanced out over the garden that I saw a corking male had come into bathe! … and… a female too! Apparently lightening does strike twice!

Ring Ousel


The Ringing Sound of an Ouzel

As we descended from the high peaks of Perth and Kinross last week we heard a familiar call; a call of the mountain valleys and waterfalls. It was familiar as I normally hear the ‘chak chak’ of the Ring Ouzel as it passes through Norfolk on its way to and from its breeding grounds.

Within the steep valley I felt it was at home. This highland Thrush seemed comfortable and less restless as it appears on migration. We found this little chap sunning his silver wings between showers as he fed among the heather and moss.



As I walked from the front door into the garden on Wednesday I looked up to see the distinctive shape of a Red Kite. The bird flew strongly west followed by a Buzzard and then a Marsh Harrier. A raptor passage in North Norfolk was on the cards. Flat bottomed Cumulus clouds meant there were some strong thermals rising and the birds of prey were taking advantage; using them to move north and west along the coast.

Amid a cloud of Buzzards and Sparrowhawks we saw a larger paler bird. A Rough legged Buzzard on the move. Perhaps having wintered in the southern counties or even on the continent, the bird was now making a trek north to breed.

On the cliffs were a host of Wheatears and included within them a larger bolder bird – a ‘Greenland Wheatear’ resting before continuing its mammoth journey north to breed. The ‘chak chak’ of a Ring Ouzel gave away the presence of a pair in the hedgerow. Maybe these are the birds we will see in the Scottish Glens on the first of two April trips north at the weekend. I adore Ring Ousels; their neat white bibs and silver wings give a marked contrast to their otherwise jet plumage.

Waders are scarce in this part of Norfolk. There is little standing water to attract them here. As I stood against an irrigation pool I heard a small wader call above me. She flew down to take rest at the water’s edge. The little madam did not land at the far side of the water but close to me, close enough to grab a shot or two. She was in transitionary plumage; a ball of spots and streaks, a half way house between her winter and breeding garb, a longish bill indicating her gender.

Nice to see so many things on the move.

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December 2017
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