Ring Ouzel + recent others

Illustration of pair of Ring Ouzels by John Gould

Ring Ouzels by John Gould

As last year, I have to admit to total opportunism – Ring Ouzels were reported from Cissbury and Beachy yesterday, so I made sure I got up on the escarpment at Firle Bostal this morning.

Sure enough, a single Ring Ouzel materialised, manically scolding from atop a berry-laden hawthorn (they’re all berry-laden this year) just beside the Bostal road – in the productive ‘elbow’ just before the final stretch up to the car park. After a couple of minutes a car flushed it over the ridge (Ring Ouzels always go over the ridge) towards Beddingham.

Other than that the walk was quiet. The regular party of four Stonechats was in the game cover below (minus the long-staying Whinchat, last seen in their company a week ago) and Redpoll and Yellowhammer flew over.

Last weekend along that stretch of escarpment, there were 250 – 300 Goldfinches in a fairly tight feeding flock, and good numbers Chiffchaffs with a couple of Blackcaps and Goldcrests in the scrub.

Grey Wagtails have become a daily sight and sound in the village and in the Park; up to three on any one walk, but perhaps twice as many are likely to be around the general area. Pied Wagtail numbers around the paddocks are in double figures, as usual at this time of year, often mixing with the swollen number of Meadow Pipits on recent ploughed patches.

Redwings started to come through on 8 Oct, with some even flying in mixed flocks with the last of the migrant hirundines. Siskins overhead are a daily sound, but Firecrest has only been heard on one morning (4 Oct), in the car park behind The Ram.

It’s been good to see (and hear from) a few birders who’ve stopped by for the Little Owl at New Elms Barn. It hasn’t always obliged, but repeat visits seem to be paying off.

Still waiting on the first Fieldfares, Teal and Green Sandpiper of the autumn – surely won’t be long now.


2 thoughts on “Ring Ouzel + recent others

  1. Wonderful. You are so lucky to live amongst it.
    Only a handful of walks for me this year but some big sightings on a personal level – Minsmere for the first time and first spots for me of a Bittern and an Avocet. But the highlight was a Brown Hairstreak whilst “meadow hunting” in Hurstpierpoint on behalf of Dave Bangs. Oh sorry, it’s not a bird!!

  2. Hello! I think a Brown Hairstreak is definitely worth a mention, even if it isn’t a bird. Bitterns and Avocets are wonderful things; haven’t been to Minsmere for ages, I bet it’s even better than when I was a nipper.

    Been meaning to get in touch – have finally put out an album, with new band Small Shipwrecks:
    Some of the songs have been around a while – an early incarnation of the group played with the lovely Thee More Shallows at the Hanbury Ballroom once. Did you come down for that one? Either way, still glad you introduced us to them.

    Hope all’s well with you…

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