Monday, 15 April 2019

Aston Rowant - Linky Down :: 15 April 2019

I hadn't been here before and was somewhat doubtful that I was going in the right direction, despite having talked to four guys in the main car park. Eventually I saw two birders at the foot of the valley. I approached the beginnings of a path down the valley edge and stopped to look at some movement in a tree / bush ahead. Ring ouzelDamn me, it was a ring ouzel; and there was another hopping along the ground to the left. As I raised my camera the bird dropped to the ground and I was never able to get focus on the birds as they fed and bobbed right to left. Eventually I lost them.

I noted another couple of birders higher on the hillside and wondered why they were so high up. I made my way round in their direction, and then saw a female ring ouzel fly ahead and very shortly after a male dropped into and out of a tree to my left.

As I got closer the two birders approached and one noted the male I'd just seen in the tree. I mentioned the two further back up the track. One said it had taken him more than an hour to locate where he should be. In any case, they mentioned that they had very good views on the top plateau of the valley with a bird dropping in very close. In a short time three ouzels were showing albeit at a little distance.

As I watched, another birder passed through the gate below me and I waved him up - John Edwards. I pointed out the birds I had and as we watched they got closer and more numerous. Whilst watching four birds in bushes at the top of the valley, another three flew in from the right. A very fruitful visit to Aston Rowant NNR with sightings of 7 ring ouzels.

I was after a specific species and so wasn't searching extensively but sightings (12) included: blue tit, chiffchaff, dunnock, goldfinch, great tit, green woodpecker, long-tailed tit, magpie, pheasant, red kite, ring ouzel and song thrush.

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