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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ring Ouzels return to the Dales and Pimpernels, Sorrells and Anemones by the brook

Having spent a very entertaining and satisfying half a day out tracking down the newly arrived Ring Ouzels in Rosedale with my good friend Rob yesterday, I'm clearly going to have to return to get some better pics! Main thing is we succeeded though and more than that got some cracking views (through the bins). For the record here's a couple of images of a nice male we watched from distance and was one of at least 4 seen at this location.

Spending the Winter in Northern Africa, Ring Ouzels are closely related to our more familiar Blackbird but prefer upland terrain and rocky screes - great birds, I'm more used to seeing them on migration in Autumn so very pleased to get to grips at last with North Yorkshire's small but stable breeding population (somewhere between 60 - 100 pairs)

Gorgeous day for it!


A couple of other birders looking for the same at a likely spot ... YWT members and we chewed the fat a while, and after a while a male and female Ring Ouzel flew across the valley and into the big Holly tree on the left ... upon which they disappeared from sight!


Luckily the Northern Wheatears, recent arrivals themselves, were a little more 'obvious'. Much territorial flight display going on with these birds, lots of calling and darting around, chasing off other males whilst the females looked on ... I reckoned on about 15 in total in the dale with all the males in tip top condition!

This cheeky Stoat provided a touch of entertainment whilst we were waiting on the Ouzels to show, eating sandwiches and discussing how best to reduce the human population for the sake of the planet (as you do when waiting on an Ouzel!)

A bit of cloud cover later on added a touch of drama to the backdrop and with Curlews warbling, Meadow Pipits whistling away and a couple of yaffling  and almost luminescent Green Woodpeckers to boot it was all very atmospheric.

Our walk back along one of the valley brooks was no less enchanting and brought some welcome floral delights .... early flowering Yellow Pimpernel I believe, its either that or Creeping Jenny

Some impressive and beautiful clumps of Wood Sorrell

..... and couple of patches of Wood Anemone

No pic (doh!) but worth a note, I had a probable Hobby dashing North up the dale early on ... long tail, slatey grey back and no Kestrel I'm sure!

All in all a cracking good day and mission accomplished as far as the Ouzels were concerned (must get back soon for some better pics though!) and, since we were on part of Wainwrights famous coast to coast walk (I know this because I met and chatted to a couple of blokes who were doing it!), what better than a pint of Thwaites to round things off and boy oh boy I needed it after the walk back up the dale edge!

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