A Ring ouzel first for Lang Craigs
Almost 80 different bird species have been recorded at our young woodland Lang Craigs in West Dunbartonshire, but this week a local BTO volunteer was in touch to say he’d spotted a pair of Ring ouzel (sometimes called the mountain blackbird).
This is an exciting find!
Ring ouzels live in some of the toughest environments in Europe – craggy, wind-blown uplands, usually well above the tree line. So they have always been tricky to spot. Their range and number have sadly declined >40% in the last 40 years, so to have a pair visit and breed on our very own crags is a bit of a coup.
About the Ring ouzel
• The UK’s only summer visiting thrush, arriving from north west Africa around April
• Strongly resembles a blackbird so can be easily misidentified – look for the white crescent on the upper breast (sometimes it’s not very pronounced)
• Spot them in Scotland and N England on open moor and high altitude crags
• They are red listed in GB i.e. of high conservation concern, probably because of ongoing changes to their habitat. Globally, they are listed as of ‘Least Concern’ – the ring ouzel is only declining in Britain.
• They are omnivores. Insects and berries are a favourite. The migration route of the ring ouzel follows where juniper berries grow.
Image: Male ouzel with pronounced white crescent
Credit Frank Vassen (CC on Flickr)
Ring ouzel dining on a worm
Credit Tigerburnie (CC on Flickr)