What’s this friendly bird?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QWe were walk­ing on Rhos­sili Down, Gower on 25 Novem­ber, and saw this very tame bird hap­pily for­ag­ing on the hill­side just in front of us. We guessed it was a lost Ring Ouzel. Can you help?

Chris Madi­gan

AYou’re cor­rect, it is a Ring Ouzel – the white cres­cent on the throat and up­per chest, and those sil­very wings, are a give­away. They’re nor­mally sum­mer vis­i­tors to the UK, but re­turn pas­sage in au­tumn can be long drawn-out, and there are oc­ca­sional records of birds win­ter­ing here (a small group did so in Snow­do­nia a few years back). Per­haps, it’s sur­pris­ing that more don’t, given our rel­a­tively mild win­ter cli­mate. The closely re­lated Black­bird does so, af­ter all, and Ring Ouzels ought to be able to sur­vive in low­land ar­eas, es­pe­cially in the warmer south of Bri­tain.

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