Northantsbirds

Suburban star lingers

More on that Ring Ouzel

The Ring Ouzel which dropped into David and Sally Irven’s Bush Hill garden on Sunday is still present today. Although it comes and goes, it more often than not favours the Cotoneaster at the end of the garden furthest from the house. Showing well, as they say, it provides an opportunity for close study, which reveals its age and sex as a first-winter male.

First-winter male male Ring Ouzel, Northampton, 18th October 2016 (David and Sally Irven)

First-winter male male Ring Ouzel, Northampton, 18th October 2016 (David and Sally Irven)

The diagnostic ageing stuff, also visible in the accompanying images, includes broad white fringes to the outer greater coverts (these are ‘old’ unmoulted juvenile feathers), fresh, new inner greater coverts (only a thin greyish border) and the dark bill with just a pale horn-coloured section to the lower mandible. It’s a male because females are slightly duller with little or no white crescent.

A big thank you to David and Sally for letting me in to their garden to see it!