True, we didn’t see a lot of sun today but, like many wet ones, there was a terrific range of bird species to be seen and one or two surprises. In fact a quick glance at the ‘species-o-meter’ gave a reading of 59 bird species reported today! Not bad at all.

Here’s what was seen…

Notable birds seen in the Bird Garden and Tree Sparrow Farm today included ‘that’ coal tit and, another scarcity for Old Moor, a treecreeper.

Coal tit on the feeders between the finches

As you can see, the Reedbed trail was pretty busy today with three Cetti’s warblers calling, a solitary bearded tit, pochard and – high above - a peregrine.

A wren sheltering in the Tree Sparrow Farm this morning

On the Mere, and at times on the rocks just in front of the Family Hide, was a third year Caspian gull. This large gull spent a most of the morning resting and preening in amongst the lesser black-backed gulls. Even in the gloom of a wet day, this was an impressive - and surprisingly playful - bird to watch. So much so that watchers almost overlooked the second-year yellow-legged gull nearby.

Gulls come and go all the time at Old Moor but there are fairly regular reports of yellow-legged gull at present, especially in the mornings.

3CY Caspian in flight

Some time at Wath Ings hide finished my visit today. Here were 98 golden plover in among five hundred or more lapwing. Two dunlin picked their way around the flock and a single green sandpiper fed in the shallows in front of the hide.

According to warden, Dave Waddington, there were eleven snipe in front of the hide but if you could find half that number you were doing well! Right now the browning vegetation makes spotting them very tricky indeed. My tip is to wait for some of the grazing ducks to plough by! Today wigeon and mallard bulldozed through the sleeping snipe and there was enough shuffling and head-raising to do a quick count.

Roosting lapwing and golden plover this afternoon

One last surprise today came in the form of a brambling reported near the hide at Wombwell Ings, always nice to see as we head towards winter.

And that is pretty much it for today. With a lot of geese around in the valley at the moment, there’s every chance of some pink-footed geese at Old Moor soon and who knows what the next autumnal gale will blow our way. Here’s to the next wet one!

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