I’ve heard there are Ring Ouzels at Emsworthy Mire. Ring Ouzels are thrushes which nest on high moors and upland crags in the north of England and in Scotland. They spend the winter in Morocco. Who wouldn’t?
They are just passing through Devon on their way on an epic journey and Dartmoor is the perfect stopping-off and refuelling point.
There are plenty of berries here for them.
Ring Ouzels are Red Listed because their population has declined by 43 per cent in the last 40 years. That’s because of habitat changes in Britain, not Morocco.
I’m wearing camouflage gear and sitting in bracken in front of a Mountain Ash. It seems the berries are their favourite. There are three of them in the tree behind me.
It’s been an entertaining yomp over moorland to get here and see them.
I finally get a decent view of one. Its feathers look quite worn, with faded edges giving it a reptilian look.
Those berries certainly look inviting.
A handful of them fly directly over me and nestle in the Mountain Ash. They are very wary, but I’m quiet and still, apart from the clicking of my camera’s shutter and the beating of my heart.
There’s a tangle of branches in the way but it’s great to see them eating.
I’m grateful that I have teeth.
Then a jogger arrives and they head off into the distance.
It’s time to get some blood supply back to my legs and have a cup of tea from this flask. Cheers!