With the holidays well and truly over and the New Year only five days old, today was a busy one in the Dearne Valley. Watchers were out in force and even got to enjoy some January sun.

Here is that summary of sightings…

First of all, you might have noticed a number of marsh harrier sightings in the summary above. This is the same bird that, as far as I can make out, started hunting this morning at Adwick Washland then travelled to Edderthorpe via Old Moor. Needless to say, I missed it in not one but two of those locations!

Female goldeneye on the Wader Scrape today

I began my day at Adwick and I’m pleased to report that, after the recent flooding, everything easily accessible once again. Think stout boots rather than wellies. And you can see from that list that there is a fair bit going on, not least of which is a stonechat pair, redwing, fieldfare and redpoll.

And the male goldeneye, posing for a picture…

Back at Old Moor, bearded tit were once again showing well in the reedbeds by the trail to the Screen. Today four of these terrific little birds were seen feeding together whilst at least another one was seen from the Reedbed Hide on the right hand side of the pool.

… or not!

On the Mere two goldeneye fed towards the back but on the Wader Scrape another pair gave visitors close views as they swam around the posts that mark the causeway to the first island. Meanwhile on the back the Scrape, there were two drake goosander visible most of the day.

And that’s about it for this evening. I shall finish up with one of Old Moor’s stalwart species transformed by a little of that late afternoon sunshine.

Until next time.