Still snooty. Still sneaky. Still ‘ere.


Got my “Gordon White Rouzel Alarm” at 1215 today, after he’d seen a male in the sheep enclosure in Ainsdale LNR, south of Shore Road, while doing the rounds again this morning.
I headed down there during my lunchbreak to receive an object lesson in fieldcraft from the snootiest and wariest Ring Ouzel in the neighbourhood.
Knowing how skittish they are, I crawled up the steep blind side of the highest dune in the sheep enclosure, through the dried rabbit, sheep and cow poop (don’t tell Mrs D, these work troos were clean on this morning).
There is a small bowl at the top of the dune, and I figured I could slither in on my belly like an overweight, myopic middle-aged ninja, and survey most of the enclosure unseen, with some shelter from the blustery wind.
Turns out the Rouzel had pretty much the same idea – as I hauled myself over the lip of the bowl on my belly, there it was, about 6 inches from my nose….it cackled loudly at my ineptitude and powered over the ridge of the dune and out of sight.
Lovely, if brief point blank view!!
1-0 to the Ring Ouzel.


It took 20 minutes of crawling and edging around the side of the dune, avoiding breaking the skyline, before I spotted it again, feeding amongst the Creeping Willow and cropped turf.
I managed to fire off two or three digiscoped blurs before it was spooked by two passing Jackdaws, saw me and flew off to a nearby pine to glare snootily for a minute or so.


Then it dropped out of sight, and that was it, my Monday lunch session with Mr Snooty Fox over, and I had been completely outwitted by the haughtiest thrush on the block. Again.

5 thoughts on “Still snooty. Still sneaky. Still ‘ere.

  1. Hi John. Is that the area were the cool looking cattle were a few weeks ago ? Never seen a rousel. Now I can see why. Tried Crosby coast guard yesterday. Lots of linnets, reed bunts and skylarks but no warblers. Doesn’t seem as much scrub there now and the golf course perimeter fence blocks access to the higher points which used to give good vantage points.


    • Yes Eric, but a bit further in – go through the gate by our offices (Ainsdale Discovery Centre) at the end of The Esplanade and follow the wide sandy path along the outside of the Pontins perimeter wall.
      You will come to a gate and kissing gate.
      Go through that and follow the obvious path south with white topped posts.
      After about 10 minutes you will come to another fenceline with scattered pines outside it.
      This is the sheep enclosure – so if you have a dog, keep it on a close lead.
      Climb over the stile with the “Dogs on a Lead” sign on it and ascend the high dune in front of you – you can survey the enclosure from there, but if you get skylined, the Rouzel will see you and scarper – sneaky snooty Weasel that it is.
      The sheep are due to be moved back to their summer grazing above Wasdale head in Cumbria tomorrow, so it’ll be a bit busy in there from mid-morning on.


      • Thanks for the comprehensive directions. Tried early doors this morning from the high dune but no sign of said rousel. There was a walker along the far side path of the enclosure looking at the sheep though which probably didn’t help. Plenty of willow warblers and 4 reeling groppers though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Ring Ouzel was still there earlier this evening, had it in flight to the east of the sheep enclosure and big dune, after it was flushed by a Kestrel.

    Liked by 1 person

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