What’s this friendly bird?
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?
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.