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Friday, 4 April 2014

Kessingland Ring Ouzels

On Wednesday 2nd April at 5.30pm, directly after work I made my way to Kessingland Caravan park, it's always a pleasure to see Paul & Jane (seen on the way in), especially when they updated me with the news that it was still there along the southern line of caravans mainly in the eastern corner bordering the edge of the park. They said, as others had mentioned to that it was a particularly showy individual with a much more elusive bird (the more normal behaviour of Ouzels) by the sluice, however I encountered the polar opposite reaction from both birds! As soon as I was walking up I saw, a glorious male Ring Ouzel with thick white crescent on the wings and silver grey on the wings and black plumage, just in front of two caravans on the southern edge in the astern corner by a small ornamental tree, but as soon as it immediately saw me (I was approaching carefully) it scampered under a caravan. Despite being ultra cautious in stalking, it continued to be very elusive, popping up but then darting for cover X4 every time I saw it, I wasn't particularly close either. It wasn't being being particularly obliging and I tried kneeling down waiting in one spot for a time but that didn't work either. With the misty smog depressing the light, I was also conscious that the what light levels we had would soon drop. So I made way to Kessingland Sluice and in particular I scanned the grassy green area just north of the only Pit left. I saw 2 birds, first a fine male Wheatear and a little further back another one another glorious male Ring Ouzel, this right out in the open. I decided to carefully walk along the road bending west wards and leave the brow of the slope to hide my approach, coupled with using bushes for concealment and crawling along very carefully and slowly I managed to get reasonably close to the bird without flushing it. Indeed it was feeding and even hopped towards me on several occasions. It was a super bird, with white breast crescent silvery wings and black scaly plumage and lemon yellow bill with black tip. I always really enjoy seeing these birds and this was being very obliging, I took full advantage by reeling several pictures. (Needless to say all the accompanying pictures and the header are pictures taken of the Benacre Pit/ sluice bird, the Caravan park didn't stay still enough for me to get any pictures or even observe for any duration of time). The Benacre Pit bird continued to feed working its way right, before it retreated a little and stood beneath a small bush for cover, where I left it. Walking back to the Caravan park, the male Ring Ouzel was still there, but this time it was flighty (I wasn't anyway near the bird) and it immediately flew 10 yards into the caravan site where I left it in peace.


Paul Newport said...

Peter, a wonderful account along with superb photographs...well done.

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks Paul, it was a good evening for Ring Ouzels and the Benacre Pit/ Sluice bird was particularly obliging.