Ruins near car park
Gert looking rather arty
Checking out his pursuers
Me on Ouzel scramble
My original plan for Saturday was to head to the south coast but given the lack of superstar migrants I headed to Titterstone Clee Hill with Upton buddy Gert who fancied the challenge of finding a Ring Ouzel.
Just as we left Bromsgrove at 7am we received a text that a Marsh Harrier was at the Upton Warren Flashes reserve. After a moment of deliberation it was a quick U-turn to try and record an Upton first for us both. After a good 30 minutes of searching I saw the bird almost take off and then change its mind. From that point you could see the bird through the reeds.
We then made the 45 minute drive out to Clee Hill. There was plenty of mist around the 1,749 feet summit so we were thankful of our delayed arrival due to the Marsh Harrier. Clee Hill is one of the most prominent hills of rural England and is often driven through when heading to Wales.
On the drive up to the car park a Stonechat sat on a fence line whilst Meadow Pipits could be seen commonly. The derelict building, often reported as the best place to see the Ouzels, where limited to Wheatear, Carrion Crows and a single White Wagtail.
Given the report from the previous day that the Ouzels were seen near Trig Point we scrambled our way up and across the hillside through and over some tricky rocks. Our search was not going to plan so once we reached the top we thought we would try the other side which was out of the wind. Not to be deterred we scrabbled down and across giving his good views of the top of the hill. Hopes were raised when we saw a Ouzel shaped bird fly towards the summit.
After a good hour and a quarter Gert spotted a male Ouzel and once we set the scopes up we had great views of actually two. For one moment we had views of two Ouzels and a Wheatear at the same time. You could easily see the large white chest crescent on the male. With us both battered from the wind and rather pleased with our find we headed back to car for coffee. Passing others birders it seemed we were the only ones to find the migrants.
Superb morning in a great environment.