Mike's 200 bird challenge Blog 7

March 27th 2019 – Titterstone Clee

Having spotted on Twitter that Ring Ouzel had arrived at a regular stopping off point on their migration to their summer breeding territories, at Titterstone Clee in South Shropshire I took a trip down there on a sunny, clear afternoon in late March.

When I arrived at the car park it was clear that I was clear that I was in the right place, as there were a number of people wandering around the hillside armed with binoculars, scopes and extremely large and expensive looking camera equipment. I got chatting to a very friendly birder who was a regular at the hill, and new all the best spots, so I tagged along with him for a while (always a good idea to tap up any local knowledge!).

I spent a very pleasant hour or so talking about birds and sights both at home and abroad, whilst keeping an eye out for the Ouzels, and enjoying lovely views of Wheatear. A very beautiful bird, and my first of the year.

Eventually the Ring Ouzel put in an appearance, and gave us some excellent views as it foraged in the short grass in front of the ruined buildings. A good tick, and nice to see in Shropshire for the first time.

I took a short detour on my way home to visit the Wildlife Trust reserve at Catherton Common, a large area of heather and furze, with fabulous views over South Shropshire and down into Herefordshire. It was quite quiet, the occasional Stonechat and Meadow Pipit flitting around, and a Green Woodpecker calling somewhere in the distance, but still a little early for the returning spring migrants, although I heard, but couldn’t spot, a Chiffchaff calling from the woodland on the edge of the common. This is definitely another place I will be returning later in the spring.

Another couple of species to add to the list, and another part of our lovely county discovered and explored, so a good day all round.

Ring ouzel

WildNet - Margaret Holland