Classic Ring Ouzel behaviour - wait until bank holiday weekend then start nest building at Stanage Popular!
Please pass on to any group leaders/instructors you know as this is of course a popular area for groups.
Glad to hear the Ring Ouzels are finally getting their act together!
People were observing the signs on the ground today, and a Ring Ouzel was shouting from the boulders below the crag (below the restricted area).
> …and there’s already logs today from the ‘ology’ section of Manchester buttress. Hopefully they’re from yesterday and just logged today!
The same person has logged a helluva lot of routes in one day, at numerous crags, so I suspect they've been catching up on their logbook.
The aforementioned places are nowhere near High Neb and Crow Chin is long way from Big Pebble. Black Hawk area is at the popular end, so everything in between should be fine, including the Plantation
> OUMC are tentatively planning on heading to Stanage this weekend. Are there any restrictions up at High Neb / Crow Chin at the moment? I'll steer them that way if it's all clear.
Actually, at Youth (VD) slab I've put up a sign saying please climb quietly/no groups - as there's a nest nearby but probably not needing an actual restriction - so that spot would be one to avoid ideally.
Ah - thanks, Kim. I had been thinking of heading to to High Neb and then spreading out to Fate & Youth and Crow Chin. Maybe that's a bad idea given that there's a fair few of us. Might suggest elsewhere to the meets secs. Burbage North, possibly..?
Not at all - it's only an issue for a few weeks of the year and the last thing I want to do is lead 30 odd excited undergrads through a nest! Sounds like Burbage might be a safer bet.
Are there any nests at Burbage South? I saw a couple of RO around the quarry there and one was roosting on the ledge on that big scary arete there. Plenty of poop on that ledge suggested they weren't just passing.
There was an old sign there with nesting restrictions from 2021.
> Are there any nests at Burbage South? I saw a couple of RO around the quarry there and one was roosting on the ledge on that big scary arete there. Plenty of poop on that ledge suggested they weren't just passing.
> There was an old sign there with nesting restrictions from 2021.
There is a nest at Burbage South (away from climbing buttresses so no signs), and possibly a second pair - I've not seen them up near the quarries much but it is a popular nesting spot, so interesting you've seen them up there, thanks. The old sign is actually for Kestrels, and I have just "refreshed" it as they are back again this year!
We climbed Crack and corner a few days ago (mid week), and were surprised that even in that short time, two groups of climbers came up to the crag and wandered around/sat within the signed off area. It struck me that there will be quite a few folk who are unaware the birds nest in the area below the crag, as oppose to on the crag. Maybe the signs could be a bit more explicit about not entering the signed area below the stated routes, rather than just not to climb those routes. Just a thought
As it happens I added some extra signs along those lines yesterday. Though in this case the birds are nesting on the crag, not the ground below. People passing through the signed area is generally OK (as long as not too constant, which can be an issue here!), but hanging round not so much.
I was there last night and had of course completely forgotten about the restrictions but as we walked along Popular End we saw the plentiful signs immediately, so just walked around the 'perimeter' as marked out by the signs. Thanks for doing all the graft Kim!
The Black Hawk Ring Ouzels were doing fine late this afternoon, popping back to the nest site every few minutes with some grubs.
First photo is daddy, second is mummy.
I sat on a boulder a bit below the signed area, they were wary but reasonably tolerant, at one stage daddy Ring Ouzel sat on a boulder about 15m below me for a few minutes calling; ping-ping-ping (wasn't yet set up to take photos at that point).
Nice! I was climbing just beyond the signed off area yesterday, and was actually having a leak behind some boulders and looked across and realised, although I had tried to get out of the line of sight of everyone on the crag, about 30 mtrs away there was an ouzel perched on a rock staring back at me and I think, giving me a disapproving look!
I know what you mean but I don't think so - though I'm not 100% on this because birds can do strange things.
I saw the female first and thought it was the male until the male popped up and I could see that he was properly black whereas she's merely very dark brown, (although her crescent does seem to be very prominent).
Also, the scaly effect was obvious on her but not him, and conversely the pale wing panels were visible on him but not her.
I think that's the best I've done so far with my smartphone and an adaptor (discounting the "stationary" sparrowhawk in my garden), the male was through my binoculars - which felt easier to setup than on my small scope.
Good to hear, thanks for posting. And great people are enjoying seeing the birds at close quarters, and them going about their normal behaviour while people climb nearby. It's a big part of what the project is about really!
And yes - the collars on the females can vary hugely from almost brown to off-white (as in this case) while the males are brilliant-white. In the pic above you can just see the brown smoky edges to the female's collar (I think the highlights are a bit blown out which makes the top edge look brighter than it is) while the male's is very crisp.
Very happy to say the Popular End nest has now fledged. Signs came down today. Bookended by bank holiday weekends - it's a bit of a flagship for the signing work when this territory succeeds! Thanks to everyone who helped. They're very likely to have a second brood somewhere nearby, which we'll try to find - so keep your eyes peeled in the area.
> It was quite noisy today at Stanage, due to the Ouzels, Cuckoo, Curlews and a Stonechat!
Yes, I heard all of the above. Were you there in the evening? You didn't by any chance notice the odd (and loud) whistling from two high flying birds too far away for me to identify (long shot, I know!)? Golden plovers perhaps?