Another great day for bearded tit sightings! There was hardly a breath of wind this morning; perfect for scanning the Reedbed Trail for beardies.

Here’s today’s summary…

Of course, it’s not all about beardies: reed bunting were feeding on those reed heads; pochard, looking smart, were drawing attention in front of the hide; as were the little grebe, gadwall and the enigmatic Cetti’s warblers.

Female bearded tit at sunset

There was no doubt the Reedbed Trail was a place busy with birds today. At one point, where all watchers were absorbed by the bearded tit hunt, a great spotted woodpecker alighted on the Reedbed Screen, largely unnoticed.

Reed bunting this morning

The Mere was a little more relaxed. There were plenty of common gull and – dwarfing a nearby cormorant – a solitary great black-backed gull. Male goldeneye displayed while three shelduck largely slept.

Male goldeneye making a splash!

In the far corner of the Mere, five goosander bathed and then began to display to a newly-arrived female. Meanwhile, almost all the ducks on the far bank scudded for the water as a sparrowhawk hunted around the cuckoo tree.

Goosander stretching this afternoon

Wath Ings was quieter still. Its waters are still heavy from the recent flooding though a large group of pochard weren’t complaining. Grey heron stood sentinel on the back bank and a lone pair of goldeneye fed to the right of the hide.

So, that’s pretty much it for 2019. I checked my blogging records and found that watchers at Old Moor have reported 125 species of birds this year! - Last year it was 128 since you ask.  Fulmar, great white egret, little stint, osprey, scaup, turnstone, bar-tailed godwit and even bufflehead have all made an appearance this year!

I wonder what the next one will bring.

Happy New Year folks!

Anonymous