I took pity again on the house bound Jason K ( not because his car was still in for repair, just generally because he is Sandwell FC fan ) and collected him as I was passing, and we crossed the county line into Shropshire.
Soon we were up at the summit of Titterstone where conditions could best be described as 'a bit fresh' and rather misty. However, encouraged by our hopeless optimism, we proceeded to do a thorough working of the site, to see what we could winkle out.
Passerines were very thin on the ground, and save for a few Meadow Pipits things were very quiet. As another wave of mist rolled over, we were beginning to think it could be 'one of those days'. However things picked up as a nice pair of Stonechats showed, the male looking very smart, even with viewing hampered by the poor visibility.
Round by the old fort, we enjoyed nigh on 50 Ravens whizzing around having fun on the breeze, which was worth the admission price alone.
The fungi was a little disappointing, save for some Snowy Waxcaps.
After a couple of hours, and not much else to report save a Buzzard, we headed down to the working quarry. Optimism had been fairly dampened by now, we had barely counted a handful of species, let alone a rarity.
With grim determination we continued to scan and listen when all a sudden we thought we were onto something. We flushed a bird that flew away low towards the quarry, the brief jizz just did not look right for a blackbird. Heading into the viewing area at the far end there seemed to be some passerine activity where the rocks were trapping the sunlight. There on a ledge was a male Ring Ouzel. Unfortunately it only showed few a few seconds before disappearing over the ridge. However after doubling back, we reconnected with it again briefly 20 or so minutes later.
This was my third Rouzel of the year, and my first autumn bird ever, and a good reward for the graft and teamwork we had had put in in less than ideal conditions !
|Ring Ouzel ( Spring passage bird 2012 Titterstone)|