I started by walking very slowly up Happy Valley, as this was one of the places Ring Ouzel had been reported. Plus it had also started raining so I was in no hurry to get to the top! Treecreeper and Green Woodpecker were nice sightings as I made my way up through the trees. Unfortunately it seemed as though the Ring Ouzel had probably moved on since Thursday....however I was soon distracted from Ouzel-related thoughts towards the top of the valley, by a Rowan tree a short distance from the path which turned out to be stuffed with Brambling, and topped off with a single Fieldfare! I was dead excited as in my limited experiences, I'd only previously seen Bramblings as individuals, not flocks, so it was great to see around 25 of them quietly and busily feeding away at the Rowan berries. It was a year tick for me as well, brills! I watched the Bramblings until they flew off together, and at the top of the valley saw the flock again a couple of times, now grown to towards 40 birds.
|Record shot from my clunky camera - how many Bramblings can you count?|
|The top of Happy Valley.|
|I think it's Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia).|
|St Ann's Well Cafe.|
|Outdoor seating in a lovely setting.|
|Awesome erosion of the marble base of the well!|
After that it was back up the hills and over the Worcestershire Beacon, the highest peak of the Malverns, and onwards for a bit along the hills.
|The Worcestershire Beacon.|
|View south along the Malvern Hills.|
I also had a look at another of the sites where Ring Ouzel had been reported, Dingle Quarry, but again with no luck, although I did enjoy great views of a hunting Kestrel overhead.
|Upper Dingle Quarry.|
|Stonechat record shot.|
I got the 17:10 train back to Birmingham University (conveniently 25 minutes' walk from my house) and was feeling pretty sleepy by the time I got home, so we chilled out in the evening and watched Poirot, enjoyably daft stuff. What a great day!