Yet another mild and bright day in the Dearne Valley made for some great watching. Here’s a summary of the birds seen at Old Moor today…

At Bolton Ings, John Seeviour recorded: two mute swan and a juvenile, two little grebe, one great crested grebe, five mallard, two gadwall, one teal, forty-seven tufted duck, five pochard and 350 coot. With them were six cormorant, three grey heron, three herring gull, one lesser black-backed gull, six common gull, seventeen lapwing, a kingfisher and two green woodpecker. Thanks John.

Before I ramble any further, a quick announcement. Sadly, I am sorry to say that this weekend’s planned ‘Stargazing’ event at Old Moor has been cancelled. If you need any further information, please contact the Visitor Centre on 01226 751593.

A pair of wigeon at dusk today

Casting your eyes down those sightings for Old Moor, you might stop on the listing for ‘Great white egret’ on the Wader Scrape. I have few extra details but I do know that the egret was reported early this morning and did not stay around long.

You might also note the number of golden plover today reached a satisfying ‘700 plus’. These are great birds to see anytime but especially in numbers and especially in the low, golden light of a late autumn day. ‘Why’s that,’ you say? Glad you asked…

I mean, just look at that!

And…

A closer view from Ian Morris.

Of course, it wasn’t just the plover that were transformed by the sunset. Wigeon fed (noisily as it turned out) at the margins of the main marsh and forty or so cormorant began to roost in the willow to the left of Wath Ings hide.

Cormorant at sunset from Ian Morris. Thanks Ian.

In amongst the roosting birds, it was one of Old Moor’s smallest residents that caught my eye – or rather my ear. Wrens often join in with the ‘dusk chorus’ and, for my money at least, can get overlooked when there are green sandpiper and golden plover and godwits about.

So I make no apology for finishing tonight’s blog with a bird that, although small, makes up for a lack of size with bags of character.

Until next time.

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