It may have been sunny for the most part but there was a touch of ground frost this morning. Nevertheless, the day picked up with some truly exceptional bird sightings…

It’s not just about the birds of course so, for a change, here’s today’s butterfly and dragonfly list first. Butterflies seen today included: red admiral; painted lady; comma; small blue; small white; and speckled wood. Dragons included: common darter; brown darter; and migrant hawker.

A fine migrant darter from Alan Coe and shared via our Flickr page. Thanks Alan!

If you’ve scanned the lists above and are a regular to Old Moor, then you’ll know how unusual today was. They might be common elsewhere, but a treecreeper in Old Moor’s Bird Garden is always a good spot. Keep your eyes on the larger tree trunks for a chance of seeing that one.

The Bittern Hide seems to be a regular place to see kingfishers at the moment with two seen there today. In fact one group of visitors today saw kingfisher, bearded tit AND bittern in the space of five minutes!

Just before the splash

Then of course there was that honey buzzard sighting! Yes, you read that correctly! Just after ten this morning a honey buzzard sailed across the reserve on its way southwest. These scarce birds of prey are summer visitors and it is a good time of year to look out for them returning to warmer climes.

Another surprise today was the first autumn record of a goosander at Old Moor. Expect to see more of these smart ducks as we head towards winter.

But for many it was the Wader Scrape that provided the best views today. Here, among other things, were greenshank and green sandpiper often alongside one another. It was a rare chance to compare these two terrific waders side by side.

The long-legged greenshank and the diminutive green sandpiper from Nicola S. Thanks Nicola.

Or, if you prefer a photo…

So, to finish off tonight’s blog here is one last view of the larger of those two, the greenshank. Here’s a chance to appreciate the pale tail and white rump as well as the striking patterns on those wings.

Until next time.

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