Ouzelling Time Again

Well it is that time again when the Ring Ouzels are returning. Also the time when it is hard to have the hill to myself as it is for most of the year. The first Ouzel was reported on Wednesday evening. I made an early morning visit on Thursday morning and found another birder already there. Birding before work I expect. A regular thing for me when I was at Honda. I stayed for just under an hour and had a brief view of a male Ouzel and a slightly longer one of a female Wheatear. This evening I was back. Just for an hour or so again. It is handy being less than five minutes away. I parked at the bottom of the hill and walked south along the hedgerow to the west of the castle. Twenty or so Meadow Pipits flew up from the grass ahead of me, a Corn Bunting was singing and a couple of Buzzards were over the Castle and that was about it. More Pipits and a pair of Long-tailed Tits were all I saw all the way to the far end of the hedgerow. Moving back past the Butts a few Yellowhammers appeared as did four Great Tits. A Kestrel shot past being hassled by four Jackdaws. More movement in the bushes ahead of me turned out to be not the expected Great Tit but a very smart male Redstart. I watched it for a minute or so until it moved out of sight. Heading back along the field margin I met Trevor Pinchen coming the other way. As we were chatting a couple of Buzzards drifted over, three Linnets landed nearby and he caught sight of a Wheatear as it flew from the field onto the grass. I headed on back towards the car and a scan of the area  where the Wheatear landed got me good views of two males and a female. So no Ring Ouzel but a good year tick and plenty of other good birds.


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