The RSPB’s well-established Old Moor reserve, plus a couple of smaller developing areas in the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire, was the target for the Club’s latest excursion on Sunday, 8 October. Thankfully, a decent day was chosen by organiser Chris Lamb and the nine-strong group did not encounter a single drop of rain!
A good spread of wetland birds were on display, though it was only at the eastern end of the main reserve – with good views from the Wath Ings hide – that more interesting waders were evident, as well as a quick flash of Kingfisher. Highlights included Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff and Ringed Plover, while those who stayed longest in that hide also enjoyed the sight of a group of Golden Plover dropping in to join the Lapwings.
Predictably there were several Little Egrets dotted around the site, while Gadwall was one of the more numerous ducks on show, along with fair numbers of Wigeon, Pochard, Shoveler and Teal. A small group of Snipe were eventually found in the bottom of some reeds, which had initially caught our attention courtesy of a Little Grebe determinedly trying to see off and eat a small fish!
Cetti’s Warblers were, as usual, heard but not seen at various points around the network of footpaths, and on the feeders a range of tits and finches gave a good show. The best photo opportunity was offered when a Kestrel, which had been seen hunting in several areas, decided to land on a post for a rest and didn’t seem in the slightest bit concerned as several people jostled for the best views and snapped away just 15 yards or so from his perch.
After leaving the main reserve, some of the group called in on Broomhill Flash where more of the same wetland species were observed, while other members drove a little further away to a developing area near Adwick village where the highlight was a huge flock of Greenfinches gorging on a field of sunflowers.
The full list of species recorded on the day were: Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Gt Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Snipe, Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Pheasant, Kingfisher, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Jay, Starling, Buzzard, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Tree Sparrow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Cetti’s Warbler, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Blackbird and Song Thrush