Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Ouzels and a few other familiar faces, well kind of!

Just returned from a week attempting to catch Ring Ouzels in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco with Mick Green and Paddy Jenks as part of a long-running study of the relationship between Ouzels and Juniper being conducted by Ecology Matters. We saw loads of birds but catching proved pretty tricky with birds not doing the same things from one day to the next and there being seemingly no end of suitable habitat, all at fairly high altitude, and pretty much uniform! Did find one brilliant site for catching, but frustratingly it was a water hole 100 yards inside a fenced Mouflon Reserve with no access (proves that no matter where you are the grass IS always greener on the other side!!). Total catch of Ouzels for 6 days netting was 9 birds! Hopefully learnt a few tricks that can be employed by Team B who are going out again in January.

Right then, where shall we set the nets!?

It was very interesting seeing how some of the resident birds we are familiar with here varied slight over there.

The Blue Tits were a lot brighter with a much darker cap

The Coal Tits were much darker on the breast and "plus grand".

The Hawfinches were slightly darker overall and the Chaffinches were, well, just much nicer than ours!

In all 52 species were recorded and 19 species were caught including Tristram's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Firecrest and Rock Bunting.

If anyone sees a Ring Ouzel this coming year please check it for colour-rings. The odds aren't great but those 9 have got to go somewhere!


  1. Looks like you had a good time despite the lack of Ouzels being caught! Any reason you've put a photo of that particular Ring Ouzel, and not one of the others?? :p


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