Thursday 12 March 2009

Ring Ouzel at St Gothian Sands NR

At long last, I have eventually caught up with the elusive Ring Ouzel in the Gwithian area. This bird is most likely to be the wintering male seen on at least two occasions this winter - once by Tim Twiggs in January on the dunes beside the pool and later photographed by Steve Sargeant in February. These are the only two observations that I'm aware of. A few years ago, one was also wintering around Godrevy, so the area is obviously attractive to the species, but it is a generally rare bird in winter and a prize find indeed. The majority of the population however, winter in the Atlas mountains in Morocco and move north again in late March and early April.

I have visited St Gothians about ten times this winter with the intention of seeing this bird. Tonight, I had all but forgotten about it, intending to find early Wheatears when it flew past me calling and landed on the green grassbank to the left of the gated entrance (SW Water treatment works side). It was incredibly shy and the closest I could approach was 75 yards. The dog walkers flushed it three times and I didn't see it again after 5.30pm. I only managed 15 shots and these two were the best of the batch. Both are heavily cropped and sharpened in Photoshop.

EXIF Detail: Due to low light, camera set to P (program) mode, as I couldn't risk getting it wrong! ISO 800. Aperture F/7.1, EV -0.3, WB Automatic, Shutter 1/200, Focal length: 800mm.

1 comment:

  1. Well done steve,good result nice find.
    I'm still trying to catch up with it myself.