Friday 29 March 2013

Ring Ouzel, Plymouth

I have finally caught up with a bit of a bogey bird for me (the last ring ouzel I saw was 10 (!) years ago on Dartmoor), and it was in a complete surprise of a place, Ford Park Cemetery in the centre of Plymouth.

 Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel

It was quite nervous and flighty as ring ouzels are but it did give some nice if brief views at times and it was very nice to finally see one after such a long time despite searching for them on Dartmoor and along the South Devon Coast in the Autumn. It has been around for a couple of days now which is also unusual but with the weather being unseasonally cold with a biting Easterly wind I guess it has decided to stay around where it has found a decent food source until the weather improves.

Also seen in the Cemetery were a raven being mobbed by a pair of carrion crows, a pair of siskins, 2 wheatears (my first of the year), a flyover little egret, a kestrel and a sparrowhawk.

I also had a walk around Blaxton Meadow by the River Plym where I saw 3 little ringed plovers, my first in Devon and a bird I haven't seen for quite a few years now as well. They were feeding on the flooded meadow, rapidly shaking a foot in the watery mud to stir up food in the biting cold weather. There has been quite a fall of little ringed plovers in Devon over the past few days along with ring ouzels, no doubt due to the strong East wind.

Also seen along the River Plym were a common sandpiper, a male pintail, a male and 3 female red breasted mergansers, a marsh tit, 2 little grebes, at least 2 greenshank and 5 Canada geese. Surprise bird was an avocet feeding along the shoreline as the tide came in, my first on the Plym, along with a pair of gadwall, again a new bird for me on the Plym.

Wood anemone were flowering in the woodland at Saltram and I managed to find a small fly feeding inside one despite the cold temperatures, a shame there are not more insects around as the chiffchaffs, swallows and sand martins that have arrived in the UK are struggling in the cold weather.

 Wood Anemone
Fly sp. feeding in a Wood Anemone Flower

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