• Keeping Things Going...& Happy Christmas!

    Hello there, it's been a while since I did a 'proper' blog and this one isn't quite that, but hopefully it's keeping things going. 

    Firstly - Boxing Day. As far as I can tell, this is the first year in a long while that Old Moor will be opening on Boxing Day. The reserve will open at 11am and close at 5pm. So do come along for a bit of fresh air, exercise and of course, the wildlife. Also on Boxing…

    • 24 Dec 2019
  • Gatherings - Sightings, 19 Dec

    Bearded tit were again seen well today at Old Moor as were those goldeneye and goosander.

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    First news this morning was of sixty or so pink-footed geese flying through the Dearne Valley. This was followed by yet more sightings of those bearded tit on Old Moor’s Reedbed Trail. It seems the same pair were feeding near the ‘elbow’ of the trail, just before you turn…

    • 19 Dec 2019
  • Trackin’ - Sightings, 17 Dec

    Absolutely superb views of bearded tit today! To be fair, conditions were perfect: barely any wind; a bit of sun to bring them out; and no sign of any predators!

    Here’s the summary of sightings from the day …

    Early this morning a pair of bearded tit were reported feeding very close to the path on the Reedbed Trail.  If that wasn’t enough, watchers also picked up a barn owl hunting in the mists along…

    • 17 Dec 2019
  • 2019 round up of the Reserve Team’s activities.

    I’ve been a bit lax this year; this is the only blog I’ve managed to do! I did start it a few months ago, but life got in the way so, here it is now … 3 blogs for the price of one!

    Tree planting at Houghton.

    January saw us erecting some fences and planting trees (a forest) at Houghton.

    I think somewhere in the region of 5000 trees were planted, including the hedge in the picture below.

     

    The hedge…

    • 16 Dec 2019
  • Good Luck! - Sightings, 14 Dec

    Well that one certainly blew away any cobwebs! It was a blustery winter’s day in the Dearne Valley today and one where it paid to keep a close eye on those dark clouds. But then, you’re never that far from shelter at Old Moor.

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    I began my visit today with a walk to the Reedbed Hide. Here, along the edge of the meadow, before the path turns a right-angle to…

    • 14 Dec 2019
  • Round Robins - Sightings, 12 Dec

    With just over a week to go to the shortest day, there was little change at Old Moor today. What is unusual is that, just down the road at Edderthorpe Flash, those two great white egrets seem determined to stay put. They were seen again today at the southern end of the flash.

    Here is today’s summary…

    One thing that never seems to change about this time of year is just how bold our robins become. Walk down…

    • 12 Dec 2019
  • N’aup – Sightings, 10 Dec

    Well, yes, okay – the weather forecasters did warn us! Today the Dearne Valley made Mordor look like quite a nice place for a picnic! I knew it was bad when I walked into a hide and was greeted by fellow watchers with, “Oh, here’s another idiot.”

    Charming.

    Joking aside, it was a pretty rough day out there yet there were still pearls to be found.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    After…

    • 10 Dec 2019
  • Scaup - Sightings, 8 Dec

    Old Moor welcomed a local RSPB group from Nottinghamshire today who very much seemed to enjoy their visit. Thanks, as always, to all visitors who shared their sightings with us today. It all helps with the ‘picture’ of the day.

    Here is the summary…

    At Adwick Washland, the news is that wellies are no longer required now that the flood waters are receding. Chief among the sightings there was the recent…

    • 8 Dec 2019
  • Jack Snipe – Sightings, 4 Dec

    For good reasons, many birds are secretive. Bittern are famous for it. Bearded tit and water rail seem to go either way – either incredibly shy or surprisingly bold. If you’ve visited Old Moor and seen any of those three, count yourself lucky.

    But if there’s one bird – and a regular at Old Moor – that takes the biscuit for being hard to spot it’s the jack snipe.

    Here is today’s summary…

    • 4 Dec 2019
  • Winter Arrives - Sightings, 1 Dec

    After all the rains of last week, it was heartening to see so many people at Old Moor today, enjoying the first sharp, sunny winter’s day.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    On the Reedbed Trail, a flock of some twenty or so long-tailed tit proved an acrobatic warm-up to views of the Dearne’s most elusive bird species. Three bittern were seen today – one on Old Moor, two at Bolton Ings. But…

    • 1 Dec 2019
  • November WEX - Foraging!

    Hello again, it's time once again for our monthly WEX blog written by Freddie, our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic writer. Thank you Freddie!

    Over to him. :) 

    This time at WEX we were doing a foraging hunt. Foraging is where you look round the natural environment for resources which might be of use to survive – to get food or build shelter, or even to make art.

    We kicked off with puzzles or quizzes based…

    • 30 Nov 2019
  • F.L.G. - Sightings, 28 Nov

    I don’t know about Eskimos and snow, but I reckon this week I could probably rattle off fifty words for rain! And yes, there was more of it today in the Dearne Valley. Luckily enough, there were some distractions - of the feathered kind.

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    First of all, most sensible folk on a day like today go equipped with a decent waterproof, maybe wellies or perhaps a brolly. Karen…

    • 28 Nov 2019
  • Steady - Sightings, 26 Nov

    Evening Folks! A quick update tonight as there was very little change out there today.

    If you haven't already seen it, do have a look at yesterday's blog on the imminent improvements to Old Moor.

    Here’s today's summary…

    • 26 Nov 2019
  • ‘And off we go!’

    Evening Folks! With an update on developments in the near future, I shall hand you over to Danielle Meyer, Visitor Experience Manager, at Old Moor.

    From Danielle

    “Well, we have officially started with the ‘Giving Nature a Home in the Dearne Valley’ project. We received the official start date from the National Lottery Heritage Fund mid-October and have been approaching contractors with our tenders…

    • 25 Nov 2019
  • Strange Goose - Sightings, 24 Nov

    At last, one of those seasonal mists that Autumn is famous for! This morning, Old Moor looked fantastic, with its pools and reedbeds wreathed with curls of low fog.

    As ever, it took a while for this to fade. When it did, the sun broke through to reveal the autumn spectacle in all its glory.

    Here is today’s summary of sightings…

    Wellies are no longer required if you are visiting Old Moor. Green Lane has now…

    • 24 Nov 2019
  • Quiet - Sightings, 21 Nov

    It’s a quick blog this evening as the sightings book was a little on the ‘thin’ side today. After the turbulence of last week’s floods, things seemed to have quietened down as we wait for the waters to subside fully.

    Just a quick reminder that the Reedbed Trail is fully open but Green Lane is still out of action for the time being.

    Here’s tonight’s summary of sightings…

    • 21 Nov 2019
  • Cold Snap - Sightings, 19 Nov

    By an odd coincidence, two years ago on this date Old Moor also experienced a sudden cold snap. Back then, a drier autumn meant the water levels were low and the shallow waters froze, displacing many of the birds that feed in them. As you know, at the moment Old Moor is flooded so today’s first question was, ‘Would those flood waters now freeze?’

    Here is the day's summary of sightings…

    As…

    • 19 Nov 2019
  • Great Egrets, Whoopers and Beardies - Sightings, 17 Nov

    It was great to see so many visitors at Old Moor today and, perhaps with so many eyes on the place, there was a good range of sightings too. In fact, at least fifty-three species of bird were seen today, including some of the most elusive. Here is the summary…

    The day began with a tricky question – just how many great white egrets are in the Dearne Valley at the moment? Two were spotted at Edderthorpe first…

    • 17 Nov 2019
  • 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