Rouzel etiquette


I’ve always felt Rouzels to be quite haughty, snooty critters – absolutely marvellous no doubt, but snooty all the same.
You just have to examine the best places to look for them on spring passage (unless you fancy hoicking up a Pennine clough/Welsh valley) – they seem to like private golf courses and places called “The Paddocks”, but Google that address round here and the locations that come up certainly don’t look like they’d welcome shabby birders in the shrubbery at first light.
And that’s another thing – Ring Ouzels tend to show well early morning, and when they do, they glare down their lemony yellow black-tipped noses at you, before flying off strongly.


I tried for the two Gordon White reported in the sheep enclosure south of Shore Road in the Ainsdale LNR yesterday, but it was mid-morning and there was no sign, so I reset the alarm and shambled down there at dawn today.
Once on the high ground at the east end of the enclosure I quickly picked out one bright male sneaking about the Creeping Willow before it flew up to the top of a pine, while another was lurking in the willow scrub.
Superb to catch up with the snooty foxes again – thanks for the tip off Gordon!


Watched the birds (both males) for about 25 minutes before they flew into the NNR grazing area and out of view.
Apparently there have been up to five in the area, but I only heard about that tasty bit of belated news yesterday…
If you do go looking for these crackers, please remember sheep are still grazing on site (even if the supersexy Red Poll cattle have left for their summer hols), so close gates behind you and keep dogs on a lead in the sheep enclosures.
The grazing activities of the livestock are what’s making the site so attractive to Rouzels in the first place, so showing them a bit of respect is the least we can do – and the Herdwick Sheeps have such a lovely smile after all.
Plenty of Willow Warblers singing in there this morning, Chiffchaffs, Redpoll, Stonechat, hirundines whizzing north and my second reeling Gropper of the spring….not a bad haul before clocking on.

6 thoughts on “Rouzel etiquette

  1. Now is the perfect time to discover one of the best bluebell woodlands in the region – at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, on the Dee Estuary. Each spring, the nature reserve’s Gorse Covert, an area of semi-natural ancient woodland, bursts into colour with a blanket of blue and this year, the bluebells have not disappointed.
    Due to the mild winter, many of the flowers are already beginning to emerge and tease admirers with their colour, well before their usual May bloom.
    To celebrate this natural wonder, visitors are invited to join in a special ‘Bluebells and Birdsong’ guided walk to discover more about the bluebells as well as other interesting flowers and wildlife on the reserve.
    The ‘Bluebells and Birdsong’ guided walk will be held on Saturday 30 April from 10 am to noon. The cost is £5 per person (£4 for RSPB members) and includes a hot drink in the reception hide. To book your place, phone 0151 353 8478 or email


  2. Ring Ouzels; Smew. Makes my birds seem almost boring, but I did enjoy a walk along the Green Beach this morning, accompanied by lots of Swallows zooming overhead, and a female Wheatear that kept pace with me the whole way, staying just close enough to be enjoyed and almost as interested in me as I was in it. The morning was topped off by something I’d never witnessed before – a Skylark that delivered its apparently entire ten minute routine whilst perched not two feet from the ground. Lovely.
    The bacon and egg butty on the beach didn’t hurt either…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Said it before, and I’ll say it again…it ain’t what you see, it’s the way that you see it. And that reads good to me Tony, thank you.


  3. Pingback: Planet Spottiswood

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