It’s hard not to be enthusiastic when the lanes of Old Moor are looking so full and verdant right now. Each one invites you to take some time, to stand and watch – or listen. None more so than ‘Green Lane’ – the route between the Family Hide and Wath Ings.

More on that in a moment, but first today’s sightings…

One visitor, Cathy Thornton, was exploring the path to the right of the Bittern Hide and spotted a crackin’ grass snake basking in the sun. Fortunately Cathy wanted to share the sighting and provided me with a photo via email. Thanks Cathy.

We do get grass snake at Old Moor, especially around the ‘Wildlife Ponds’ on the red ‘Discovery Trail’. Very sensitive to noise (and heavy footfall), they tend to disappear quickly so to see one for any length of time is always a pleasure.

Another terrific sighting came from Raymond Parker. Raymond was walking near the Adventure Playground on his way back to the Visitor Centre when he spotted one of Old Moor’s most elusive residents – a bittern.

Luckily, Raymond also had his camera with him and shared the following photograph showing those distinctive markings as well as a typical ‘snake-like’ stance. I’m not surprised the encounter made his day! Thanks Raymond.

Yes, those lanes are not only beautiful but also full of surprises. Green Lane at the moment has many attractions but two stand out. You might be lucky and hear blackcap, willow warbler or chiffchaff. Or you could be even luckier and pick out the garden warbler that’s been reported there over the last two days. Or, arguably even better, you could hear the toy-like rattle of a lesser whitethroat singing near Wath Ings Hide.

Time, I reckon, to stand and watch – or listen.