Sunshine may have been in short supply but it was mild at least and dry and there were an impressive fifty or more bird species at Old Moor today! Here’s the quick summary…

At Bolton Ings, John Seeviour reported: two mute swan, one great crested grebe, twelve mallard, three shoveler, three gadwall, four wigeon, twelve tufted duck, nine pochard, nine cormorant and two grey heron. There were also five common gull, four herring gull, six goosander (three females), 361 coot, one buzzard, a barn owl, two green woodpecker, a jay and more than 100 redwing and fieldfare. Thanks John.

The reeds at Old Moor in the winter sunshine today

Gary Stones, at Adwick Washland, found: one bean goose, five pink-footed geese, one little egret, four black-tailed godwit, two shelduck, six shoveler, 27 gadwall, 140+ wigeon and 180 teal. He also reported: one sparrowhawk, eleven grey partridge, one kingfisher, twelve meadow pipits and around 400 redwing and fieldfare. Thanks Gary.

Buzzard were seen regularly today at Old Moor

In Old Moor’s Tree Sparrow Farm, if you looked closely, you could see the reason why the smaller birds were nervous…

Move along, nothing to see here

With an ambush predator so close, I found myself wondering which bird would be brave (or foolhardy) enough to return to the bird feeders first. I should have guessed…

A defiant blue tit

On the Mere, the stiff breeze was also making things difficult for the smaller residents of Old Moor. Pied wagtails weight about 22g, about as much four sheets of paper. With a gusting wind, the wagtail had to work very hard just to keep itself from being blown over, never mind feeding.

A juvenile wagtail on the Mere today

A little more sheltered, it was great to see a goosander sailing across the Wader Scrape this afternoon – even if he was being upstaged by an egret in the background…

All paths lead to Wath Ings of course though just outside the hide, a goldcrest can be seen along with a gang of long-tailed tits that pick their way through the branches there.

I’ll finish my ramblings tonight with one last picture from the afternoon and a chance for us all to practise those ducks-in-flight ID skills.

Until next time.