• Old Moor and Covid-19, an update

    With shops opening and plans for pubs and hairdressers to open soon, it feels like the world is slowly beginning to find its feet in this new normal, and in some ways it feels like the RSPB and Old Moor have been lagging behind. We know how desperate people are to visit our reserves and we know how important getting your ‘nature fix’ on our reserves is to so many people and we are desperate to share it with you, I’m hoping…

    • 25 Jun 2020
  • Introducing Lucy.

    Lucy is our all rounder intern, and is having possibly the oddest introduction to the RSPB! 

    Here she shares with us some of her highlights;

    With the reserve only partially open, I thought I’d share some updates on some of our breeding successes, as well as some other wildlife that can be found in the parts of the reserve that are currently accessible.

    Our nesting Bittern has been busy raising her chicks during…

    • 18 Jun 2020
  • Old Moor’s Reserve Team, the story this year up until lockdown March 2020 - plus a few updates.

    I thought I’d put together what we had been up to and some of the other activities, done by contractors, on the reserve up until lockdown in mid-March … plus a few updates.

    Since I originally wrote this and before I could post it to the website, the reserve has partially reopened and we, the Reserve Team, have been back working. This has been things like checking the site is safe, maintenance of the paths…

    • 5 Jun 2020
  • Openish

    As you may have heard already, Old Moor is open once again. Well, as ‘open’ as it can be in the current circumstances.

    The Visitor Centre (and all its facilities) is closed. Entry is by the side gate; free for members and non-members – though I noticed a donations box near the entrance.

    The Bird Garden hide is closed but the Discovery Trail is open, though subject to a one-way system around the Wildlife…

    • 31 May 2020
  • We're opening... tentatively

    Like a lot of people across the UK and indeed the world, 2020 has not turned out quite as I had expected. 

    Like many of us I have found myself in a very different world as restrictions on movement and contact between people are put in place. Understandably, the RSPB were forced to close many of our reserves.

    As we are now beginning to see the easing of some of the restrictions on travel and spending time in green space…

    • 27 May 2020
  • Closure of Old Moor - 18th March

    Evening Folks. This is just to repeat the message that was posted on Old Moor's Twitter feed and Facebook page. The message is that...

    "Following the latest government advice we have made the difficult decision to close our nature reserve RSPB Old Moor including hides and trails, to visitors by the end of today, Wednesday 18 March. This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers, supporters…

    • 18 Mar 2020
  • Pintail and Kite - Sightings, 17 Mar

    Old Moor was a quieter place than usual today. But thankfully, there were enough like-minded and determined souls in the Dearne Valley to provide a sightings update.

    Here’s the summary…

    As you can see, not a huge amount of change today, though a pintail on the Wader Scrape is always a welcome sight. Also welcome at any time is the distinctive outline of a red kite sailing across the valley. Is it me, or…

    • 17 Mar 2020
  • Chiff ‘n Redshank - Sightings, 15 Mar

    One of the wonders of mid-March is the return of the chiffchaffs. These are small, insect-eating birds, about the size of a blue tit. They spend their winters in the eastern Mediterranean or northern Africa. Then they make the impressive journey back to north western Europe, arriving in time for spring.

    Here’s today’s summary…

    Today at Old Moor, visitors couldn’t help but notice that the rising temperatures…

    • 15 Mar 2020
  • Med. Students - Sightings, 11 Mar

    Funnily enough, I was asked by a visitor on Monday whether we ever get curlew at Old Moor. Then one turns up today. Anyone got any questions about ring ouzel or hoopoe, just let me know…

    Here’s the summary of sightings from today…

    Except for that curlew and a pair of goosander there was little change in the sightings today. Even the bittern’s booms weren’t reported – or perhaps swallowed by…

    • 11 Mar 2020
  • Five Geese & A Strange Song– Sightings, 9 Mar

    Spring’s not a light switch. We don’t just reach a certain date and there it is. Instead, spring saunters in with each March day bringing the new season a step closer. Take today: five chiffchaff were in full voice on ‘Warbler Way’ - the path from Bolton Ings to Wombwell Ings. Another small step.

    Here’s the sightings summary…

    As you can see, there were a few surprises today. Five…

    • 9 Mar 2020
  • Sunday Sightings, 8 March

    By way of a change, I thought I’d tackle tonight’s sightings in a slightly different way. Comments, as ever, appreciated.

    Around dawn this morning six little egret left the roost on Wath Ings. With them were 49 cormorant and, unlike the egret, most of them stayed around the Mere for the rest of the day. There were also three grey heron.

    Today the warden’s count was of 161 Canada geese and 42 greylag

    • 8 Mar 2020
  • Marsh Harrier – Sightings, 3 Mar

    There were still the last remnants of the recent storms about today (have we got to ‘Vera’ yet?) but there was something else too. It’s not just the snowdrops, everywhere you look at the moment, there are signs of spring.

    Here’s today’s summary…

    On Old Moor’s Reedbed Trail, the bearded tit continued to show themselves well this morning. A pair were reported from the area by…

    • 4 Mar 2020
  • Blowy - Sightings, 1 March

    The new month in the Dearne Valley began with a brilliantly sunny - if blowy - day. Sadly, for those of us impatient for spring, there was little change in the ‘bird mix’ at Old Moor. That didn’t mean though, that there wasn’t plenty to enjoy.

    Here is the summary…

    Before I crack on with Old Moor, it was great to see the range of sightings on offer at the remarkable Adwick Washland today…

    • 1 Mar 2020
  • And Iceland - Sightings, 27 Feb

    Brilliant sunshine but cold, brisk winds brought a scattered picture of sightings today in the Dearne Valley.

    Here is the summary…

    It was good to see that the great white egret was once again showing at Edderthorpe Flash and to hear that the scaup was still being reported on Manvers Lake.

    An extra male stonechat joined the recent pair at Adwick Washland and it was good to know there were still plenty of field…

    • 27 Feb 2020
  • Little Change - Sightings, 25 Feb

    It was yet another squally day in the Dearne Valley though there were some periods of spring-like sunshine too. With March only four days away, it seems that this year winter is reluctant to leave.

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    At Old Moor, most of the sightings came from the Wader Scrape today. Here once again an adult Caspian gull was recorded. Sadly, it wasn’t around for my visit but the larger…

    • 25 Feb 2020
  • Impressive – Sightings, 23 Feb

    After an unpromising start, it turned out to be quite a decent day for watchers at Old Moor. Out of the wind, there was some warmth to that sunshine and a few surprises of the feathered kind!

    Here’s today’s summary…

    Starting at the remarkable Adwick Washland, the season’s first avocet was again present along with two redshank, two oystercatcher and the long-staying stonechat pair.

    And speaking…

    • 23 Feb 2020
  • Two More - Sightings, 20 Feb

    When the weather did let up today, you could believe that spring is just around the corner. Only just over a week, and it’ll be March! And the black-headed gulls know it. Today I estimate there were fifty or so on the reserve, hoping to secure the best position for nesting.

    But, before I get ahead of myself, here is the sightings summary…

    In the Tree Sparrow Farm today, it was good to see two lesser red…

    • 20 Feb 2020
  • Ring-Necked Duck & Ferruginous Duck – Sightings, 18 Feb

    What a day! Just in case you missed that title, today was a bit of a red letter day in the Dearne Valley. More details in a minute but first, here’s the summary of sightings…

    For some while now, birding folk will have been aware that a very handsome ring-necked duck has been frequenting the South Kirby area. Very recently, he’s had a companion in the form of drake ferruginous duck. Today, just to keep…

    • 18 Feb 2020
  • Wild – Sightings, 16 Feb

    With Storm Dennis still chuntering and spluttering, today was always going to be a bit tricky. Yet I maintain that it’s well worth getting out on a wild day. Something unexpected always seems to turn up.

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    Walk Old Moor’s Reedbed Trail enough times and you’re bound to hear the idea that bearded tit don’t show well on a rough day. Yet today visitors enjoyed…

    • 16 Feb 2020
  • Between Storms - Sightings, 13 Feb

    Evening Folks! What with all the site developments and the recent rains, I'd recommend stout boots or wellies for most of the trails at present! And today's news was that - with a break between storms and a bit of sun - both beardies and bittern showed nicely.

    Other than that, the sightings were as follows...

    • 13 Feb 2020
  • Now Dennis – Sightings, 11 Feb

    Evening Folks! I don’t know if today’s weather was the back end of Ciara or Dennis’ first rumblings. Either way, it was wintery out there!

    Despite the best efforts of some of Old Moor's most reliable watchers, there was little change on the reserve today. So, here is tonight’s quick sightings update…

    • 11 Feb 2020
  • Stormin’ - Sightings, 9 Feb

    Right on time, Storm Ciara swept in and made her presence felt. Not only was there yet more flooding but the roads were soon strewn with wind-prunings and debris of all sorts. Nonetheless, there were a few hardy watchers at Old Moor, ready to provide some sightings…

    In the Bird Garden today, those sheltering in the Visitor Centre watched a sparrowhawk dive headlong towards the largest window. Thankfully it wasn…

    • 9 Feb 2020
  • Nearer - Sightings, 6 Feb

    After days of little change, today we finally saw some movement. Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    Several groups of pink-footed geese through the valley today and the arrival of an oystercatcher on the Wader Scrape (to join yesterday’s green sandpiper) meant that spring seemed that bit nearer.

    Also today, a marsh harrier paid a couple of visits across the reedbeds at the back of the Mere. The…

    • 6 Feb 2020
  • Clever Gull! - Sightings, 4 Feb

    Evening folks! I think bright and blustery sums up the day – and in terms of Old Moor’s current birds, little change.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    News from the satellite reserves included a sighting of great white egret at Adwick Washland and the recent scaup on Bolton Ings. Though those north westerlies were strong through the valley this morning, they didn’t seem to be winds of change…

    • 4 Feb 2020
  • Magical - Sightings, 2 Feb

    Today Old Moor welcomed the South Yorkshire branch of the British Naturalists’ Association, a group of experienced watchers who, by all accounts, chose an excellent day for their visit. Emboldened by a bit of sunshine, many of the bird species being seen at the moment, showed beautifully. As ever, there were also a few surprises.

    Here’s the summary of sightings from today…

    A respectable winter total…

    • 2 Feb 2020