Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ouzing quality

As i intimated the other day Monday was to be spent at Tynemouth. I wasn't disappointed. On arrival i headed for the location of the Ring Ouzel from previous days but no show. Up to the Battery car park then down the clifftop for views of the Black Middens. A notorious collection of rocks at the mouth of the River Tyne which has claimed many a ship in days gone by. It was just about high tide and was hoping the couple of Sandwich Terns from Saturday had hung about. It was better than that as i had 26 immediately in amongst a similar number of Oystercatchers. Spent a good forty five minutes in their company. Brilliant.
This guy is bringing a Sand eel to his partner
He did present it to her (i missed the moment)
The girl from Del Monte she say "Yes"
And the next generation is on the way.
While mentioning the Middens, i bumped into Simon P. much later and he mentioned that he had an Iceland Gull there early afternoon and after i had mentioned seeing 2 Whimbrel overhead at one point he said that he had them there also and that it was him that had put them up. As we spoke, standing at the end of the North Pier, we had 5 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below and shortly after another Whimbrel flew north as we chatted. The Kittiwakes and Fulmars were obviously present on the cliffs above us but in flight images were pointless in grey conditions at this time. Not long before i had 2 Wheatears near the end of the Pier, this added to the single earlier at another spot.
No butterflies today and although it wasn't as cold as it had been on Saturday there was little sun to raise the temperature sporadically and it was breezy.
I called back after lunch to the area behind the Coastguard Station and picked up on the female Ring Ousel (it can be spelt either with a z or an s) straight away but was then confused by the sight of what appeared to be a second female of the same species. The birds kept disappearing into the undergrowth but there was 3 male and a female Blackbird which kept coming and going which made things interesting at all times. This was a second Ring Ouzel, which was confirmed when they both appeared together. Tom Tams and another birder were in place with their BIG lenses by now and were to be exasperated when both birds came together for a split second with the chance for an image of both in frame but one of the male Blackbirds came in and one of the Ouzels flew off.
Female Ring Ousel
A rather good days birding was had, just wished there had been some decent light. The easterlies continue and I'm heading down the coast to the Hawthorn / Blast Beach area for a walk tomorrow with Mr. Cheviot so here's hoping.


  1. John,

    sounds like a great day and thats a canny pic of the Ouszel. I popped down there myself on Tuesday morning at 6, stayed till 7 but no Ring Ouzel, then on Birdguides at 8 it was present.


  2. You probably were thinking negative thoughts John. Like thinking it could only be spelt with a z. Bad vibes picked up by the bird, i reckon. Next time you look for a Ring Thingy.......think the letter s. It works for me !!!!!