Sunday, December 5, 2010

With the Ring Ouzels

Ring Ouzels pass through our area but many stay for the winter, usually in localised spots on the sierras. They choose open habitats, with scattered shrubs, pasture and rocks, with cliffs close by. The karstic (limestone) mountains of the Serrania de Ronda are a favourite for these birds.
Ring Ouzel winter habitat
This habitat is shared with a diversity of other birds, including Rock Bunting, Black Wheatear, Rock Sparrow and the Griffon Vultures which watch proceedings from their cliff ledges or the sky.

The ouzels seem to be fixed on the fruiting hawthorns which must provide a large proportion of the winter diet.

Hawthorn fruit with Mistletoe, typical view for a wintering Ring Ouzel

Numbers vary from site to site. In this one around 20 birds have settled for now. We will keep an eye out for them as the winter progresses...

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