It was great to see so many folk ignoring the pull of seasonal shopping in order to take in the delights of Old Moor today.

Here’s a summary of the birds seen…

And it was a surprisingly mild one with temperatures up around 13°C. It is true that the day was mostly overcast but, when the sun did break through, it was all the more welcome.

A cormorant on the Mere enjoying the winter sun

As well as four black-tailed godwit, the stars of the show on the Mere at the moment, are those striking goldeneye. Three today, and looking very smart they were too.

A goldeneye on the Mere this afternoon

From a day that brought views of peregrine and marsh harrier and buzzard, it was a surprisinrg humble bird that brought the most visitors to Old Moor.

Around half three this afternoon, far from leaving, visitors began arriving. Their reason for get there so late? Well, a glance at the pylon nearest to the Visitor Centre answered that question.

Starlings gathering…

It’s no secret that Old Moor’s reedbed often provides a roost for local starlings. Over the last few weeks, their numbers have been rising and today there were around two thousand birds filing all three arms of the pylon and quite a few of the struts between.

Then, about four o’clock, the birds left the pylon as one. This is, of course, what visitors hope to see – a murmuration.

On the move

Sadly, there are no guarantees in Nature and tonight’s show was a brief one. The birds circled towards the reedbeds and then descended to roost. It was all over far too soon.

So, to end tonight’s blog, here’s a short video of one of the larger starling groups arriving at Old Moor this evening.

Another chance tomorrow eh?