Saturday 3rd November 2012 - Titterstone Clee Hill

With the prospect of no car I had sent a text out to some of my birding buddies to see if they were out and about and if there was any chance of doubling up with them.  Mark P (Door Stop Birding) had said that he could help me out (again) and after chatting it was decided that we would pop up Titterstone Clee Hill in Shropshire. 

This time of year there is a lot of potential at this Shropshire high point with some good passage species such  Black Redstart, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl and Snow Bunting all possible.  In fact it was at this site in November last year that i found the ♀ Desert Wheatear.  So it is always an exciting place to visit in terms of potential.

On arriving at the summit we were greeted by low level cloud and drifting mist which gradually cleared as the morning drew on.  As the skies cleared the Ravens got up and started performing.  At one point I counted an incredible 49 Ravens in the sky above the summit.  Also of interest in the summit area were 2 adult Stonechats (1♂ & 1♀) that were present near the radar station.  2 Common Buzzards and many Meadow Pipits were also noted.

We also bumped into and had a good natter with fellow local birder and superb bird photographer, Dave Barnes.  You can view some of his excellent photos at the following link:

Although present in good numbers the fungi was a little disappointing with only 3 easily identifiable species recorded.  There were Meadow Waxcaps seemingly everywhere, with smaller numbers of Snowy Waxcap and Yellow Stagshorn also present.

We then headed down from the summit and across to the area next to the working quarry.  walking the track to the viewpoint it seemed desperately quiet when suddenly I flushed a large black thrush from a nearby gorse bush.  As it flew away I caught a glimpse of its silvery grey frosted wings just before it dropped behind another bush.  I said to Mark...I think we may have a Ring Ouzel up here.  We walked across the grassy are towards the bushes.  Two birds flew and went different directions, one was a ♂ Blackbird and the other was the possible Ouzel.  That had flew towards the cliff near the pool. We walked across and started scanning when bingo Mark picked up the bird on a ledge.  It was a ♂ Ring Ouzel, yet again the flighty beggar flew before I could get a good look at it. 

We walked around the immediate area scanning, there was no sign when suddenly I saw the bird fly back across and land on another cliff ledge.  This time I managed to get the bird in the scope and we both got decent views of it before it flew again.  This time we didn't manage to relocate it this time and a photo opportunity hadn't presented itself but still...autumn passage Ring Ouzel, even on the local high points, are not easy to come by so it made it a satisfying and worthwhile visit.

Snowy Waxcap (Hygrocybe virginea)

Meadow Waxcap (Hygrocybe pratensis)


  1. Impressive stuff Jason, 49 Ravens, excellent and finding the Ring Ouzel, I've been looking for one round here all autumn and thought I was too late but you have given me some hope at least :-)

  2. November is an odd month Alan...I reckon there a still plenty of goodies to be had!

  3. Nice blog Jason. Ouzel is still a bogie bird for me after spending many days trawling and scanning Clee. Perhaps I should brush up on my skills ready for Spring.


  4. Cheers Pete. Will have to meet up at Clee sometime. i will help you with your Ouzel trawl