Tapping the ‘species-o-meter’ as I left Old Moor this afternoon, it read a not inconsiderable 55 bird species recorded today. Here’s what was seen…
Although the garganey was fairly easy to find today [the ‘spit’ of Wath Ings], it wasn’t until around 10.30 that the great white egret showed itself. It had been roosting in the willows on the left of Wath Ings and, when it finally appeared, it straightaway drew the attention of four nearby grey heron.
The egret seemed to be slightly intimidated by these more powerfully built heron and for a while it seemed the great white was about to be ousted from the marsh.
But an uneasy truce followed and all five birds settled to a bit of preening – with an eye on their rivals. As a result, watchers were understandably nervous when the great white egret took to the skies around 11 o’clock. Was it goodbye?
We needn’t have been: it was simply deciding on a choice fishing spot and began feeding, at first on the main marsh and, later in the day, on the Wader Scrape.
Amazingly, here for another day then.
Lapwing numbers are continuing to grow at the moment. A count today revealed we are more than half-way to a thousand, and the sight of so many plovers wheeling against a summer sky is one that always lifts the spirits.
A few of the hundreds of lapwing today
Among the growing numbers of waders at Old Moor today was a surprise in the form of a turnstone. First picked up at Adwick Washland early this morning, it is likely that the same bird relocated to Old Moor around 10.50.
Great views of green sandpiper today on the Wader Scrape
And for lovers of dragon and damselflies, at least one of the recently discovered small red-eyed damselflies could still be found on the ‘Toyota Pond’ [the first pool on your left as you head to the Family Hide].
So, to finish tonight’s blog, here’s a photo of the small red-eyed damselfly itself as photographed by David Pritchard and shared with us via our Flickr photo group. Thanks David.
Until next time.
Thanks for the share Andrew. I've just had word back from the County Dragonfly Recorder. This is what he's said:
"I don’t have any other records of E. viridulum at Old Moor – yours appears to be the first so far as I’m concerned as the county recorder. However, I did have a record which was fairly reliable, last year on the Worsbrough canal, so just a few miles to the West. Your record suggests that small red-eyes may now be all the way up the Dove, and possibly the Dearne as well. Definitely worth keeping your eyes open along those stretches to the West of Old Moor. Thanks for the record – I’ll verify all the iRecord records at the end of the season."
So it's official. An Old Moor first!
Thanks David. This is a very significant sighting as the C.D. Recorder notes. I have checked with the Wardening Team at Old Moor who tell me that there were reports of SREDs on Wombwell Ings this year too (as 'tweeted' by Adam Hutt, 24/07/19). They also tell me that the 'first record of a small red-eyed damselfly at Old Moor was in 2016'. I have no more details than that at this stage. When and if I know more, I'll let you know.
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