• How to hide a chaffinch - Sightings, 14 Nov.

    What do Old Moor’s site team do on wet and dismal days like today? Sit tight in shed with mugs of tea perhaps? Far from it! As I arrived this morning, the team had been out clearing the paths and cutting back the hedges at the top of Green Lane. The rain wasn’t going to slow them down!

    There was of course a limit to what they could achieve. A few steps beyond the turning to Field Pool West, the lane is still…

    • 14 Nov 2019
  • Slowly - Sightings, 12 Nov

    All eyes today where on those white, painted markers (see previous blog). Had the flood waters diminished at all? Thankfully, while we pondered that question, the Dearne Valley was (mostly) bathed in bright, late autumnal sunshine.

    Here’s the sightings summary….

    The first news of the day was that, having hung around for two days, the snow buntings at Wombwell Ings were not found this morning. This, of course…

    • 12 Nov 2019
  • Snow Buntings - Sightings, 10 Nov

    There’s no getting away from it – Old Moor was much changed today. The recent rains have altered the shape of the place. Green Lane is underwater beyond Field Pool West, as are the paths to the Bittern Hide and sections of the Reedbed Trail. Nevertheless, with a bit of ingenuity, much of the reserve can still be seen!

    Here is the sightings summary…

    But before we return to Old Moor, let’s start with…

    • 10 Nov 2019
  • Hedgehog WEX

    Hello again, it's time once more to bring you the news of what our WEX group have been doing in their recent meeting. As per usual, we have  informative and interesting  writing from Freddie. 

    Here ii is!

    This month at WEX we were looking at hedgehogs! First, we did a hedgehog word search (as normal!) and then John gave us a PowerPoint presentation on hedgehog facts. One of my favourites was that their old name used…

    • 9 Nov 2019
  • Moist - Sightings, 7 November

    Evening folks! What sort of a day was it at Old Moor today? Well, in the words of Karen, one of our wardens, it was a “Wellies AND waterproof trousers day”. Sensible advice for any visitors I’d say.

    Yet, despite the rainy weather, we do have some sightings. Here’s what was seen today…

    It probably goes without saying that this was not a day for photography – though I hear tell you can get…

    • 7 Nov 2019
  • Brilliant - Sightings, 5 Nov.

    Autumn is changeable and today the Dearne Valley’s weather was a far cry from the sunshine of Sunday. But never fear, we have hardy watchers here who go out in all weathers to bring you the sightings!

    Here’s what was seen…

    I had to check that I was awake when I read the first news of the day. Two great white egrets were seen on Edderthorpe Flash this morning. Two! In November!... World’s gone mad I…

    • 5 Nov 2019
  • Autumn Sightings, 3 Nov.

    It is hard to describe just how beautiful Old Moor is at present - but I’ll have a crack at it! Trees in scarlet, green and gold; sharp skies the colour of a starling’s egg; amber reeds catching the low sun; and lanes dark underfoot, strewn with yellowing leaves.

    Among all that, here’s what was seen…

    Many visitors to the Reedbed Trail today enjoyed the sight of a peregrine sitting on the pylon…

    • 3 Nov 2019
  • Steady - Sightings, 29 Oct

    It would be fair to say that, after the excitements of Sunday, today was a ‘steadier’ day at Old Moor. There were fewer surprises but the sun shone and there was, as always, plenty to enjoy.

    Here’s the summary…

    Around 09.15 two hundred or so pink-footed geese made their way across the reserve. Later in the morning, about the same number of Canada geese filled the sky above the Mere.

    On the Reedbed…

    • 29 Oct 2019
  • Whoopers! - Sightings, 27 Oct

    Today was an exceptional day – even by Old Moor’s standards! Totting up all the birds spotted, gave a total of at least 62 species! And, as regular visitors know, a plus sixty day is a very good day indeed. Add to that some cracking autumn sunshine and - well, yes, you get the gist.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    That bit of sun provided enough warmth to rouse the last of the dragonflies once…

    • 27 Oct 2019
  • Sightings, 24 Oct 2019

    A quick update this evening. Here are the sightings from today...

    • 24 Oct 2019
  • Surprise Spoon - Sightings, 22 Oct

    Today the Dearne Valley stole another day from summer and, as it turned out, it was one with several surprises. Here’s what was seen…

    That little bit of warmth this afternoon made all the difference. For a start, the last of this year’s dragonflies were once again on the wing. Mid-October is a great time to see these fantastic insects as – not to put too fine a point on it – at this time of year they’re…

    • 22 Oct 2019
  • Proper Autumn - Sightings 20 Oct

    There have been some interesting sightings of late so I thought I’d start tonight with a quick update. On Friday last, six bearded tit were seen in the reedbeds though this quickly became five after a sparrowhawk noticed the group. - As if there weren’t plenty of other birds out there to be targeting!

    On the same day, there were two bittern flights seen - although one of those involved it being mobbed by a…

    • 20 Oct 2019
  • Glints – Sightings, 16 Oct

    It was a truly stunning day at Old Moor today: a day full of colour; brilliance; and that golden, ‘contrasty’ light that happens sometimes on sunny autumn days.

    Here’s what was seen…

    Early watchers at Edderthorpe noted a solitary swallow heading south. Again, I can’t help but wonder if this one will be the last. Surely there can’t be many more reports now?

    At Adwick, it was great…

    • 16 Oct 2019
  • Caspian and Little Stint - Sightings, 15 Oct

    Evening folks! A gap in the rain today meant the final touches could be made to the Wader Scrape hide roof.Thankfully, repairs are complete and the hide is snug (and watertight) once again.

    Meanwhile, and best seen from the Family Hide, the recent third year Caspian gull was back again.

    Here's what else was seen...

    As you can see above, it was another good mix of sightings and especially so for that little stint

    • 15 Oct 2019
  • Caspian - Sightings, 13 Oct

    True, we didn’t see a lot of sun today but, like many wet ones, there was a terrific range of bird species to be seen and one or two surprises. In fact a quick glance at the ‘species-o-meter’ gave a reading of 59 bird species reported today! Not bad at all.

    Here’s what was seen…

    Notable birds seen in the Bird Garden and Tree Sparrow Farm today included ‘that’ coal tit and, another…

    • 13 Oct 2019
  • And Stonechats - Sightings, 10 Oct

    Many watchers would associate stonechat with the coast, or maybe heathland. But right now three of these terrific little birds can be found around the edges of Wath Ings.

    Here’s what else was reported today…

    Thankfully, stonechat have a habit of sitting on the tops of low bushes or on fence posts. So next time you are looking around the scrub and fences of Wath Ings, watch out for these robin-sized birds…

    • 10 Oct 2019
  • Merlin and Ring Ouzel - Sightings, 8 Oct

    Another beautiful Autumnal day at Old Moor today! Here are today's sightings...

    • 8 Oct 2019
  • Brilliant Autumn - Sightings, 6 Oct

    It was a day when the Dearne Valley defied the weather forecasters. Rain? Nope. Glorious sunshine, warm temperatures and a light breeze? Don’t mind if I do.

    Here’s what was seen…

    In the sun, not only were the birds busy but the last of this year’s dragonflies were making the most of the warmth. There were: common darter; migrant hawker; and even a few blue damselflies on the wing today.

    And it…

    • 6 Oct 2019
  • The Last Swallows? - Sightings – 1 Oct

    Watchers have to work harder to find a bit of gold on a grim and wet day such as today. But, through the misted bins and rain-lashed windows of the hides, there it was!

    Here’s what was seen…

    Before turning to Old Moor, of interest locally was the sighting of eleven common scoter (including three males) on Manvers Lake, just down the road. These sea ducks were found early this morning but were still there…

    • 1 Oct 2019
  • Tricky - Sightings, 29 Sept

    With characteristic understatement, it was reported that the water levels at Old Moor had risen 'between 5 and 7 centimetres today'. That may not sound like a lot, but when you think about the area we are talking about (around 100 football pitches), it shows just how much rain we’ve had!

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    Talking of water, Knoll Beck – the stream at the back of Old Moor…

    • 29 Sep 2019
  • The Return of the WEX Blog - Forest Day

    Hello there, the WEX Blog returns! Our WEX group always have a break in August and last Saturday, they had their first meeting of the autumn. Once again we are very lucky to have the writing of our fabulous blogger, Freddie. He has formatted his blog very beautifully so I'm going to try to screen shot what he has done and post the blog as a series of photos.

    So over to Freddie...

    A big thanks go to Freddie…

    • 28 Sep 2019
  • And Curlew Sandpiper - Sightings, 26 Sept

    Here’s today’s quick summary of sightings…

    As you can see, it was another terrific day with a very diverse range of birds seen. Marsh harrier sightings from Bolton Ings seem to be an almost daily occurrence at the moment, while at Wombwell Ings there seemed to be a fair number of meadow pipit, teal and lapwing today.

    At Old Moor, the Reedbed Trail was a great place to see bearded tit with calling

    • 26 Sep 2019
  • Little Stint - Sightings, 24 Sept

    A little bit of wet wasn’t going to stop the watchers of the Dearne Valley nor dampen their spirits. Oh no! Not even when birds were reported in twos and Dave Waddington was seen in the work yard sketching out plans for an ark!

    Here’s what was seen today…

    • 24 Sep 2019
  • Sandwiches and Mandarins - Sightings, 22 Sept

    This morning’s mists and rain showers were of the ‘no-doubt-about-it-it’s-autumn’ variety. But, as they say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and in this case, that meant that two sandwich terns took refuge at Wath Ings.

    Here’s what else was seen…

    Sadly the terns moved on as soon as the weather cleared up a bit. But there was quite a good range of other birds out there…

    • 22 Sep 2019
  • Fantastic News! - Sightings, 19 Sept

    Hello friends. Tonight, not only do you get the day’s bird sightings from Old Moor and satellite reserves, but also some terrific news from the Old Moor team!

    First, the sightings from today…

    And now that news, I shall pass you over to Danielle Meyer

    “We are absolutely delighted to announce we have received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £788,500 for an exciting heritage project…

    • 19 Sep 2019