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 turned out it was a good day to see small mammals too. Today’s list included: grey squirrel, brown rat, rabbit, harvest mouse, weasel and this little chap…
Not a mouse but a vole. The blunt face; chestnut fur on top; small ears; and tail that’s about half the body length, all point towards this tiny mammal being a bank vole. And today it was taking advantage of the bird seed spilled around the stones in the Bird Garden.
Yesterday, some visitors also had remarkable views of a dormouse that was doing much the same! Looks like it is well worth spending a bit of time in the garden hide at the moment.
A dazzling bullfinch in the Bird Garden today
Out on the Reedbed Trail, mammals might have been in short supply but the newly tidied hide provided a great place to watch kingfisher; little and great crested grebe; gadwall and – if you looked closely at the water’s edge – snipe.
Not convinced? How about a closer view?
Snipe could be found here and on the islands of Wath Ings today. For this species binoculars are essential … and plenty of patience.
Other highlights from the day included: a very brief appearance of a common crossbill; ninety or so golden plover among the five hundred or more lapwings; along with sightings of peregrine, rock pipit, common and green sandpiper; marsh harrier and little egret.
It’s also worth mentioning that there were plenty of sightings of redwing in the Dearne valley today. It’s only a matter of time before they and fieldfare can be seen feeding on the berries on Old Moor’s Green Lane.
Winter is not far off now, but there are still a few brilliant autumnal days left to savour and enjoy the best that this season has to offer.
Until next time.
Kestrel on the Wader Scrape from Adrian Dickinson. Thanks Adrian!
It was certainly a day unlike the weather forecast! That’s a very nice vole photo.
No worries Adrian. In some of the pics I could see exactly what you meant. Yes, sometimes they do 'behave out of character'. Thanks again for the pics.
Thanks for the clarification, Andrew. It was not acting like a Kestrel,
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