A pocketful of Ouzels
I’d stopped off yesterday to watch the three Ring Ouzel at Timberwood Hill, Charnwood Lodge NNR but forgotten my camera. I was there at the same time as The Hooded Birder (complete with hood) and we enjoyed the birds for a while before we both had to move on.
I went back today for a look but could not locate any birds. At lunchtime I went over to the Warren Hills area of Charnwood Lodge where I’d heard there was another male Ring Ouzel. As I scoped the field with the Longhorn Cattle I noticed someone in the fields… he was pretty obvious as he was wearing a bright orange beanie hat. Heading round to where another local birder was scoping the field I asked what this chap was doing in the field and I beckoned him back.
As he returned, I politely asked what he was doing in the field. As I had been warned orange beanie became very argumentative. I tried to calmly explain that he was trespassing was in danger of spooking the Longhorn Cattle and lastly if he knew anything about Ring Ouzel he would surely know how shy they are. Orange beanie came back with the ‘I found the bird and I won’t ring it in to the pager next time.’ Well thanks for that Mr Orange, I suspect after years of birding the area I’d never have found one on my own… some people!
I phoned the news in to Andy Mackay of the bird and orange beanie… Andy hadn’t heard of him but promised to put a warning on the website and here it is: I have received reports of a birder entering the farmer’s fields at this site today. DO NOT enter private fields, either here or anywhere else. I am getting fed up with hearing reports of poor behaviour by a selfish minority of birders. This sort of thing reflects badly on all of us, and inevitably leads to good birds being kept quiet in the future. Apart from anything else, it demonstrates to everyone else your own stupidity and lack of knowledge of birds’ behaviour. You are NOT going to get closer to a Ring Ouzel by climbing over a fence or wall. It will simply disappear into the next field or into cover and then no-one will see it. STAY ON THE FOOTPATHS AND USE YOUR SCOPE.
Cheers Andy – I couldn’t have put it better myself! BirdGuides did also put on my news report to stay out of fields. Thank you to them too. Just a reminder to follow the birdwatcher’s code.
When I got home, I found so old footage of Ring Ouzel in the attic…
Finally a bit of sad news. I heard today of the passing of birder Alan Amery on Sunday after a short illness. Dave and I last met Alan when we dipped the Thayer’s Gull in Lincolnshire the other Saturday. Alan was a truly lovely guy who never had a bad word to say about anyone was was always cheerful and optimistic. My thought are with his family at this very sad time and I’m sure they will know all the birding community thought so highly of Alan and would wish them well.