Ive just been reading the latest Saddleworth independent which has an article about the dovestone ring ouzels, it states that the ring ouzel has been near extinct around the dovestone area for six years!
i can tell you now the ring ouzel has been in the area forever, ive lived in saddleworth all my life and when out walking on saddleworth moor i usually see ring ouzels. Maybe they are more commonley seen on farmed land than the long meadow grass that is on Ashway gap as the farmed land is burnt to promote re growth of fresh grasses. I also see more Lapwings on farmed land rooting around near cattle and sheep.
From Dave O'hara, Dove Stone's site manager:
Good to hear some ouzels about elsewhere in Saddleworth. At Dove Stone there were no Ring ouzel breeding season records in recent years – but this specifically relates to the Dove Stone edges. This year there were a number of records of birds in May to July from both ends of the edges, from Chew along to Raven Stones, and also a number of August/September records of small flocks, with a peak count of 12.
You rightly highlight the importance of grazed areas for ouzels; particularly worm-rich grassland. Also, Ring ouzels are nearly always associated with rocky outcrops to some degree or other – from cliffs to small quarries, and usually like heather and deeper vegetation for nesting, associated with broken ground of some sort. Bilberries and rowan provide late summer feeding.
It would be worth submitting the sightings you have, if you have dates, to BTO, especially any evidence of breeding, for inclusion in the BTO Bird Atlas 2008-2011
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