What do Old Moor’s site team do on wet and dismal days like today? Sit tight in shed with mugs of tea perhaps? Far from it! As I arrived this morning, the team had been out clearing the paths and cutting back the hedges at the top of Green Lane. The rain wasn’t going to slow them down!

There was of course a limit to what they could achieve. A few steps beyond the turning to Field Pool West, the lane is still under water. This means that the Wader Scrape, Field Pool East and Wath Ings are still inaccessible. So too is the Bittern Hide as the path to it is still submerged.

Here’s what was seen today…

Today the Tree Sparrow Farm was like a scene from Disney! Just about every bird that can feed in this area was there, taking advantage of a hand out in harsh weather. Blue tit, great tit, dunnock, robin, all four finches and the recently acquired coal tit mingled with redwing, pheasant, moorhen and magpie.

Hard to pick out on a gloomy day, but those redwing are there

Every now and again, the birds would sense a threat and all would dash for the shelter of the hedges. All that is, except for a group of chaffinches feeding around the right hand side of the screen. Here, the wind and rain have removed many of the leaves around the feeders and created a carpet of yellow, brown and black. Perfect for them to hide in and feed undisturbed!

From the Family Hide, bird sightings were not so abundant but there were goldeneye, pochard, little egret, common and herring gull.

Likewise the new, extended Field Pool was not brimming with birds though all the duck species were here along cormorant, mute swan and grey heron.

To finish up, a wander down the Reedbed Trail at the moment brings a chance to hear Cetti’s warbler calling; see one of the resident kestrels; and a kingfisher or two. If you happen to be here around dusk, then several thousand starling come in to roost and you could see a small but beautifully formed murmuration as they settle down.

And sadly, that’s about it for this evening. We will keep you posted about the flooding on the reserve though I am happy to report that it has not reached the café or shop yet!

Until next time.

You have topped up your bird feeders haven’t you?