No, I don't mean a bird to shoot at. A 'target bird' is one you particularly hope to see when you are out on a birdwatching trip, usually because you have put yourself in the right place at the right time. With that in mind I was in the Cheviot hills on 19 April and my target bird was the Ring Ouzel. A circular walk in upland along the Hawsen Burn several days earlier proved fruitless, despite reports of ouzels seen in the area and a methodical search. Back we came on the 19th and this time we 'scored' with sightings of 3 birds including an adult male. What a stunning bird! The male looks very similar to a male Blackbird with a yellow bill and glossy black plumage, yet it also differs with white edging to its wing feathers and a bold white crescent on its upper breast.

Try and see Ring Ouzels in our northern hills while you can. Sadly, the UK population of this summer migrant have fallen sharply in recent years with a significant contraction in range. We don't yet know why.

If you would like to book a Birdwatch Northumbria event please contact us.

email :
or telephone : 07594 592684