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.