• Curious - Sightings, 19 Mar

    Birds held back by those recent westerly winds are finally on the move and today once again it felt like spring at Old Moor.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    Since the end of last week, visitors to Old Moor have been doing a bit of a detour, via Aldi. And why not? After all, nature lovers have to shop. Ah, but it hasn’t been those low, low prices* that have drawn watchers to the nearby supermarket. No, the…

    • 19 Mar 2019
  • Still Here. Just. - Sightings, 17 Mar

    Finally, after months of waiting, there was one ‘sighting’ today that was especially welcome.

    Regular readers will know that willow tit sightings at Old Moor have been in short supply of late. So, when I read that one had been heard singing just outside the entrance at 16:15, I was mightily relieved.

    Not quite gone then?

    It’s not just Old Moor of course, that’s why the willow tit is one of the subjects of…

    • 17 Mar 2019
  • Blustery - Sightings, 14 Mar

    UPDATED 15/03/19  - Sadly, the ‘Stars and Starlings’ event planned for this coming Saturday has been cancelled. If you have any questions regarding booking, please contact the Visitor Centre at Old Moor.

    Here is the summary of sightings from today at Old Moor…

    Sightings from Adwick Washland today included: four avocet, four ringed plover, twelve redshank and one oystercatcher and John Seeviour’s sightings…

    • 14 Mar 2019
  • Old Moor by the Sea - Sightings, 12 Mar

    Tuesday ‘hide guide’ and fellow volunteer Amanda Palethorpe found yet another gem at Old Moor today. And what a bird it was!

    But first, here’s today’s summary of sightings…

    On Wath Ings, around 09.30, Amanda spotted a northern fulmar towards the rear of the main marsh. Why was this unusual? Well, fulmar are almost exclusively sea birds and Old Moor is over fifty miles from the coast. There…

    • 12 Mar 2019
  • A What!? - Sightings, 10 Mar

    Old Moor welcomed Leigh Ornithological Society today. It was a real pleasure to spend time with this group as they explored the reserve in some of the most changeable weather we’ve had of late. Sorry about that folks, but you are welcome back anytime!

    Here’s the summary of today’s sightings…

    The bird news from just up the road at Adwick Washland came courtesy of Nigel Smith and included: eleven…

    • 10 Mar 2019
  • Punctual Pintail - Sightings, 7 Mar

    Always optimistic, if it was raining my grandad used to say, “Nice weather for ducks!” And today was definitely a ‘duck day’ at Old Moor!

    Here’s the day’s summary of sightings…

    One the most elegant ducks that visits the Dearne Valley must surely be the pintail. Long-necked and sporting a trademark tapering tail, these birds are mainly associated with the coast but, at this time…

    • 7 Mar 2019
  • Catching Up – Sightings, 6 Mar.

    Last week, BBC Radio Sheffield recorded a two-hour special at Old Moor for the Rob Rouse Sunday Show. As part of this, they interviewed Danielle Meyer, Gerald Lax, Paul Cowley and John Scatchard about the fantastic work that happens at your favourite reserve. Missed it? Fear not. Details in a moment but first today’s sightings…

    Via the BBC’s podcast and catch up service, BBC Sounds, the Sunday show…

    • 6 Mar 2019
  • More Bramblings - Sightings, 3 Mar.

    Finding a brambling at Old Moor today was laughably easy. Ten of these terrific winter visitors divided their time between the Bird Garden and the Tree Sparrow Farm throughout the day.

    Here’s what else was seen around the reserve…

    Over at Adwick Washland, Gary Stones reported: one chiffchaff, one little egret, nine redshank, five ringed plover, one snipe, two oystercatcher, two hundred lapwing, two grey…

    • 3 Mar 2019
  • February WEX - RSPB Reserves

    Hello again, our WEX group met a week or so ago and once again we have lovely writing from Freddie who tells us all about what they did.

    Over to Freddie :) 

    This time at WEX we did all about different birds in different places and other RSPB reserves. Firstly, we listed all of the nature reserves that we could remember visiting. Here is a picture of my list:-

    On the back of the sheet were 14) Whit Moor common and 15)…

    • 2 Mar 2019
  • As Mad As… - Sightings, 28 Feb

    If you saw tonight's title and completed the saying with ‘…a March hare’, then you are in for a treat in tonight’s blog! But first, the summary from Old Moor…

    As you can see from the sightings above, there was a great range of species at Old Moor today. Bitterns could be heard in the reedbeds along with Cetti’s warbler and, if you looked hard enough, the two great crested gr…

    • 28 Feb 2019
  • Phenological Stuff - Sightings, 26 Feb

    People collect all sorts. For me, it’s words. So when I heard a report this morning about ‘phenological’ events, I was interested straightaway. But before all that, here are today’s sightings…

    Turns out that, even though I didn’t know the word ‘phenology’, I’ve been aware of it my whole life and I bet you have too. It’s the study of the timing of natural events – when…

    • 26 Feb 2019
  • The Call of the Bittern - Sightings, 24 Feb

    It was an extremely busy at Old Moor today: three parties – two coach, one birthday. The reserve welcomed watchers from Leeds Birding Group and RSPB Sutton Coldfield as well as Ava, now aged 8, and her friends and family.

    Here’s what was seen out there on this sunny Sunday…

    Many folk headed to the Tree Sparrow Farm first of all and found excellent views of both brambling and lesser redpoll. The latter…

    • 24 Feb 2019
  • Keeping Things Going.... Sightings 21st Feb

    Hello there, long time and all that! I offered to blog today given that Andrew is away.

    So without further ado, here is the sightings picture from today. 

    For me today, my highlights were through my macro lens - butterflies, bees, shieldbugs and ladybirds. 

    This small tortoiseshell was feeding on blossom near to the VC. A delight to see :) 

    I saw another small tortoiseshell near the path on the reedbed trail. A brimstone…

    • 21 Feb 2019
  • Springish - Sightings, 17 Feb

    Cautious folk reading this may well take a sharp intake of breath, but the Dearne Valley today felt decidedly Springish! Coats were left on the back seats and visitors to Old Moor enjoyed both the birdsong and this range of sightings…

    First stop for many was the Tree Sparrow Farm where the number of reed bunting today surprised most visitors. Among them were at least one yellowhammer and a female brambling. There…

    • 17 Feb 2019
  • Strollin’ - Sightings, 14 Feb

    This time last year, most of Old Moor’s water birds were standing on ice; today felt far more like summer! Here’s today’s summary of sightings…

    First things first. If you are visiting Old Moor tomorrow you’ll notice that the Reedbed Trail is closed for a second day of maintenance work…

    But worry not, you can still get a view over Reedbed One from the bus stop and one determined…

    • 14 Feb 2019
  • Ever Nearer - Sightings, 12 Feb

    Spring inches nearer and today at Old Moor provided more of those familiar early signs of the new season. More on that in a moment but first the summary of sightings from today…

    First news from the day was that there are now not one, but two places to play ‘spot the brambling’. This late winter pastime at Old Moor usually takes place in the Tree Sparrow Farm but today eagle-eyed watchers picked up…

    • 12 Feb 2019
  • And We’re Off - Sightings, 10 Feb

    ‘Boom’ – and we’re off! Yep, visitors to Old Moor today reported not tentative bittern ‘grunts’ but proper, full-throated booms! But that was just one of the sixty bird species recorded today. More in a moment, but first the summary of sightings…

    And the sightings news from Adwick Washland can be found here and came via Nigel Smith. Thanks Nigel. Accompanying Nigel’s tweet,…

    • 10 Feb 2019
  • Grunting Bittern! - Sightings, 8 Feb

    It may have been blowy out there today, but there were also some early signs that spring is just around the corner.

    Here’s today’s summary of sightings…

    The two brown hare seen at Old Moor today weren’t boxing but it’s only a matter of time.

    We are so used to seeing cormorant around the reserve that it’s easy to forget that as we head towards spring, they look like completely different…

    • 8 Feb 2019
  • Solar Flair + Sightings, 5 Feb

    Evening Folks! A bit of an odd blog this one (-what d'ya mean, they all are?!) in that the first bit is me but, after todays' summary of sightings, I shall hand over to Graham Figg who has news on some developments at Old Moor.

    First up, that all-important summary...

    Hello all,

    It's Graham Figg here, RSPB Dearne Valley Senior Site Manager. I would like to take this time and opportunity to let you know about…

    • 5 Feb 2019
  • More Surprises - Sightings, 3 Feb

    What a crackin’ day! A day of surprises and drama at Old Moor. Details in a moment but first the summary…

    Let’s start in the Tree Sparrow Farm. New here today were a fine-looking pair of yellowhammer and a female brambling. Nearby, in the Bird Garden, a pair of redwing were added to the more familiar mix.

    Whilst the Mere and Wath Ings’ main marsh provided large numbers of wintering ducks, there were…

    • 3 Feb 2019
  • Transformed - Sightings, 31 Jan

    The Dearne Valley was transformed by sharp frosts and temperatures around -5°C today. Nevertheless, there were some very hardy watchers out there to bring us the sightings!

    Here’s today’s summary…

    As you can see above, there were surprisingly good sightings for such a cold day. The barn owl in the Tree Sparrow Farm is particularly notable as is the number of shelduck around the reserve.

    Yet for…

    • 31 Jan 2019
  • Icy Adwick - Sightings, 29 Jan

    Evening Folks! Here’s today’s summary of sightings from Old Moor…

    In the dusty backroom that is Blog HQ, there’s only room for one ancient, metal filing cabinet (the kind that scrapes as you open each drawer). Inside things are organised by date. So, getting ready for tonight’s blog, for example, I can tell you that on 29th January in 2016 there were 14 yellowhammer in the Tree Sparrow…

    • 29 Jan 2019
  • Well Over Halfway – Sightings, 27 Jan

    With January coming to a close, we’ve almost two months of winter under our belts. Well over halfway through now and the earliest spring bulbs are already up. Here’s today’s summary of sightings from Old Moor…

    As you can see, there’s another reason to mark the date. Today provided Old Moor’s first bittern sighting by a visitor. Mary Wilde spotted the bird and noted that it ‘flew by…

    • 27 Jan 2019
  • January WEX - Worms!

    Hello again, it's time once more for our monthly WEX blog from our young enthusiast, Freddie. The group met last Saturday and I'm sure that you have guessed the theme from my title today!

    Over to Freddie who, as per usual, has written a fabulous account of their meeting. 

    This month at WEX we did all about wormeries and how worms help us in our daily lives.

    While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I completed…

    • 25 Jan 2019
  • Happy 40th BGB! - Sightings, 24 Jan

    What were you doing 40 years ago?

    While you ponder that, here’s today’s summary of sightings from Old Moor…

    Forty years ago, I had not long started Secondary School (Yes, really!!) and very probably watched the episode of BBC’s Blue Peter when Lesley Judd, Simon Groom and Christopher Wenner asked viewers to take part in the very first Big Garden Birdwatch.

    The idea was brilliantly simple. Volunteer…

    • 24 Jan 2019