It’s a funny ol’ game this ‘self-finding’ lark. I’ve been struggling to add much to my tally of late, mostly because of the cool north winds keeping stuff from arriving. So when six Ring Ouzels were seen at Pegsdon I popped along there in the evening to take a look myself.
After wandering around without much to show for my efforts I stood pondering what to do next on the edge of ‘Chack Valley’. After a few minutes I hear the soft distinctive scalding of Ring Ouzel – thinking it was in the bushes near me I back away slowly. After a few minutes more I hear it again and realise its coming from across the valley from some scrub. I put my bins up to be greeted with a spanking male Rouzel atop a hawthorn. After only a few seconds a shower of black and white shoot through my bins as a Buzzard piles in to the trees above the bird I was watching scattering more Rouzelage that were hidden deep in the bushes above – there seemed to me more than six!
After the Buzzard moves on, I decide to walk round to a better vantage point on the opposite side of the valley. After a long wait the Rouzels eventually pop out and fly across to the sunny side of the valley to feed. I count them – 1,2,3,4,5,6 – excellent, I’ve got them all. Hold on a minute, there is another one, and another, and another! Nine Ring Ouzels all bouncing round the sunny slope together – fabulous.
So it would appear I’ve ‘found’ three extras. But have I? I receive an email from an anonymous source (let’s call him Randy Whimsey) calling in to question my ‘finding’ of these three extras – “how to you know they weren’t some of the previous six” he comments. My only reply to that is “how do you know they’re not new in”?