Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Late Ring Ouzel

The clocks went back today, so I effectively got up an hour earlier while still having my holiday lie in. Realised while filling the bird feeders that we may have had a slight frost last night-luckily not enough to cause any problems with the garden.
I went for a walk round Aston End this morning, and it was rather chilly for a long time, only starting to warm up after a couple of hours. Probably a mistake, but I wanted to travel lightly and left the Nikon and Zeiss lenses behind, and only had the RX100 and the phone. Even in the dull light, the autumn colours were really wonderful, and I pretty much spent all the time concentrating on the landscape.
From a wildlife point of view it was very quiet. Very few birds were heard in the plantation, and along the lane to Aston End, with only a couple of crests, blackbirds, a jay, and the House Sparrows heard. Things picked up a bit once I got into the countryside with Skylarks calling constantly (and one singing) plus a few flyover Meadow Pipits. A scan along the river valley produced a couple of Mistle Thrush in a tree but little else.
As I was coming down from the Walkern road to the wooden bridge, I started to hear Fieldfares and Yellowhammers, and a Red Kite flew over. Trying to count the Fieldfare was a bit tricky as it appeared that the Kite had flushed some, and there were at least two different groups, but conservatively there were 30 birds. One Bullfinch was also calling while I was doing this. One or two Blackbirds were around as well, and while scanning the area a thrush flew over me. Initially I assumed Mistle-it looked 'scaley' but far too small and dark. The underwings were a plain grey, and the body blackish starting the alarm bells ringing. It flew away, dropped into a bush for a moment at some distance and it was then that I saw a pale  patch on the breast. Initially I assumed it was a first winter Ring Ouzel, but with the views I had, I cannot eliminate a female.
The rest of the walk was a bit of an anticlimax, the sun had come out, the lighting was less interesting and there were hardly any other birds seen.
These images taken with the iPhone and include one of several panorama attempts.

No comments: