Friday, 14 October 2016

Ouzels of fun

The first hour of daylight was quiet. But the ornithological Gods saw fit to turn on the bird tap at about 08.00hrs, when a steady and gentle stream of finches started to pass overhead, on a SE to E bearing. For the next three hours it was 'eyes to the skies' as we counted the flocks - mostly single species and low enough to identify, which was a great help as many did not call. There were thrushes involved as well, most notably Ring Ouzels. They were zipping about all over the place, including one flock of 11 birds that circled above the trapping area in the company of four Fieldfare, before all headed off high and eastwards. My own personal totals included 1200 Goldfinch, 500 Linnet, 150 Chaffinch, 50 Meadow Pipit, 30 Ring Ouzel, 25 Pied Wagtail, 20 Reed Bunting, 17 Swallow, 15 Tree Sparrow, 8 Fieldfare and 2 Siskin. My other highlights from around the shingle were an evening Sooty Shearwater, 11 Great Egrets and 4 Merlin.

I've seen the pictures of birders queueing at Spurn today. Not my idea of birding, but understandable in an attempt to control the mass bunking-off work of middle-aged men. Before anybody accuse me of being 'holier than thou', I have queued for a bird before - on St Agnes in October 1979. We thought we were entering the small garden to see a Blyth's Reed Warbler (before it became as common as Chiffchaffs), but it was later trapped and proven to be a Marsh.

More 'birding' words to be banned from social media, courtesy of some other miserable sods:

Connected

Crew

Feels rare

Sorted

Legend

Hands down pants

4 comments:

  1. Hi Steve, and a belated welcome to the shingle. Can I suggest another banned word in the lexicon of birding social media - Dengemarsh Gully!

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  2. Ouzels are one of my favourite birds. Saw the Alpine flavour last year and they're even better!

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    Replies
    1. Good call Jono - a fine thrush indeed (but aren't they all).

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