Last week there were reports all over the local birding blogs of up to 13 Ring Ouzels (turdus torquatus) being spotted on Ivinghoe Beacon. The Beacon is a well known feeding and 'resting up' point for the birds during their Spring migration from their winter home in the Mediterranean region back to their breeding sites in the remote highlands of the North of England, Scotland and Scandinavia.
So, on Saturday I made a phone call to Keith and we arranged to meet at the Beacon car park at 6 o'clock the next (Sunday) morning. Keith had already been to the Beacon on the Saturday morning but readily agreed to another visit!! (see his blog here)
|Whipsnade chalk Lion with the zoo and Hippo house in the background|
After noting Chiffchaff, a Nuthatch and Linnets we soon arrived at the area where the Ring Ouzels, about ten, were already showing well in the early morning sun. Unfortunately the sun was behind the birds, not in the perfect position for photography!
Also showing well were about eight to ten Wheatears.
Occasionally little skirmishes would break out.
|Keith feeling all penned in...or was he on the lookout for Lions?|
Skylarks 'performing' in the clear blue sky and Meadow Pipits posing on prominent perches also added interest to the scene.
Have you ever had one of those moments when your mind starts to drift off and you start to 'see' things that are not really there? well, I had one of those moments and saw Snoopy flying through the sky!!...what do you think?
So after around five and a half hours of excellent 'Ouzel watching it was time to call it a day and make our way back to the cars and home, via a brief visit to a nearby Bluebell wood (see Keith's excellent image here).
I enjoyed the day so much that I decided to go back for another visit on the Monday morning!
Again the birds were showing well. Unfortunately the day was spoilt by a few mindless people - idiots - and mostly photographers I'm ashamed to say, who decided it was good practice to stalk and chase the birds across the entire hillside.
Don't these people realise that the birds need to rest and feed up to be able to continue on their long migration journey, and if they just pick a spot, stand quietly and wait, most birds will eventually 'come' to them? Rant over!
On the way back to the car this Chiffchaff was singing his heart out from his lofty perch.
I did take some video, not very good I'm afraid ...but anyway, here it is!!