What were you doing 40 years ago?

While you ponder that, here’s today’s summary of sightings from Old Moor…

Forty years ago, I had not long started Secondary School (Yes, really!!) and very probably watched the episode of BBC’s Blue Peter when Lesley Judd, Simon Groom and Christopher Wenner asked viewers to take part in the very first Big Garden Birdwatch.

The idea was brilliantly simple. Volunteer an hour to watch (and count) birds and then send (using – of all things – a postage stamp!) the results to the RSPB.

Here it was, an official, telly-sanctioned reason to stand and stare! Back then the idea of ‘citizen science’ hadn’t been thought of, but I (and around 34,000 others) didn’t need telling twice!

A frozen but beautiful Old Moor this morning courtesy of Paul Gould. Thanks Paul.

Fast forward forty years and The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch still going strong! In fact since 1979 we’ve counted more than 130 million birds between us, with 8 million being counted last year alone! Of course, it’s not just children doing the counting now: everyone’s invited to take part.

So, if you want to be part of this year’s Birdwatch, IT STARTS THIS WEEKEND! Everything you need to know can be found here including a link to a web page where you can submit your results – nowadays you don’t even have to supply a stamp!

Gadwall and shoveler enjoying one of the ice-free parts of Old Moor this afternoon

The news from Adwick Washland today can be found here and was supplied by Gary Stones and, although the site was 95% frozen, there was still quite a bit about. Thanks Gary.

Little grebe provided extremely close views from the Reedbed Hide today

At Bolton Ings, John Seeviour provided the picture. His sightings can be found here. Thanks John.

One last piece of news is that the ‘spectacled wigeon’ is back! Watchers over the last few years at Old Moor have recorded a female wigeon with ‘glasses’, or rather white, ‘spectacle’ marks around her eyes. Look out for this bird among the wigeon found in front of the Family Hide.

The ‘spectacled wigeon’ as seen last year by Ian Morris. Thanks Ian.

I’ll sign off tonight with another view of Old Moor, this time from sunset today.

Until next time.